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GO  M-' 

381563   / 



llfu'l^nilSmViriill'  PUBLIC  LIBRARY 

3  1833  01075  7497 






















While  the  history  of  most  American  cities  is  rather  commonplace, 
there  are  a  few  which  furnish  a  story  of  facts  more  fascinating  than 
any  romance.  In  the  development  of  a  new  country  the  civilization, 
which  in  time  leavens  the  great  mass  of  barbarism,  works  from  a  few 
central  points.  In  North  America  Boston  became  the  nucleus  of  the 
New  England  colony,  although  it  was  not  the  first  settlement.  James- 
town was  the  first  settlement  of  the  Virginia  colony,  but  the  town 
never  attained  great  importance.  New  York  and  Philadelphia  became 
important  towns,  but  for  the  first  century  of  their  existence  their 
influence  extended  over  but  a  small  area.  Detroit,  from  the  date  of  its 
founding,  nearly  200  years  ago,  became  the  metropolis  of  the  region 
of  the  great  lakes  and  the  guardian  of  the  straits.  For  a  period  of  125 
years  Detroit  was  both  the  rallying  point  and  the  emporium  of  the 
West.  Three  nations  struggled  and  shed  their  blood  for  its  possession. 
Before  the  advent  of  the  railroad  it  was  almost  the  only  gateway  of  the 
vast  territory  between  the  great  lakes  and  the  Pacific  Ocean. 

The  French  outstripped  the  British  in  pushing  their  colonies  west- 
ward and  founded  Detroit  as  their  stronghold  for  the  defense  of  the 
great  lakes  in  1701.  After  fifty-nine  years  the  British  crowded  them 
off  the  soil  of  Canada  and  the  West,  leaving  them  only  Louisiana.  Then 
came  the  war  of  the  Revolution  and  Detroit  was  the  headquarters  of 
British  operations  in  the  West.  From  this  military  stronghold  they 
maintained  an  Indian  warfare  upon  the  outlying  American  settlements, 
while  the  male  colonists  were  fighting  in  the  East.      In  1783  the  Ameri- 


can  Revolution  ended,  and  the  treaty  of  Paris  acknowledged  the  inde- 
pendence of  the  United  States  and  their  possession  of  all  the  territory 
east  of  the  Mississippi  and  south  of  the  Great  Lakes.  But  Great  Britain 
saw  the  important  position  of  Detroit  as  a  headquarters  for  renewing 
the  war  to  recover  the  lost  colonies  and  refused  to  fulfill  the  terms  of 
the  treaty.  During  the  next  thirteen  years  the  British  commandants 
at  Detroit  were  constantly  employed  in  setting  the  Indians  upon  the 
American  settlers  in  the  Ohio  valley,  and  stated  prices  were  paid  for 
the  scalps  of  hundreds  of  white  men,  women  and  children  at  the  fort  in 
this  city.  After  Gen.  Anthony  Wayne  defeated  the  British  and  Indians 
on  the  Maumee  River  the  Jay  treaty  was  accomplished,  which  gave 
Detroit  to  the  United  States,  but  the  British  continued  to  incite  the 
Indians  against  the  Americans  and  afflict  them  in  various  ways  until 
the  war  of  1812  became  a  necessity.  Again  Detroit  was  the  center  of 
military  operations,  and  one  of  the  first  acts  of  the  British  government 
was  to  secure  its  possession  by  treachery.  Perry's  victory  on  Lake 
Erie  compelled  them  to  evacuate  Detroit  in  1813,  and  since  that  time 
the  city  has  been  an  undisputed  possession  of  the  American  govern- 

From  first  to  last  Detroit  has  been  a  city  of  thrilling  events.  The 
wars  with  the  Indians  were  all  centered  about  this  city,  and  it  was  here 
that  the  conspiracy  of  Pontiac,  the  greatest  leader  of  his  race,  was 
foiled,  although  it  succeeded  in  every  other  post  attacked.  These 
are  but  a  few  of  the  dramatic  events  which  make  up  the  history. 
The  development  of  the  city  as  a  commercial  power  is  no  less  interest- 
ing than  its  early  struggle  for  existence.  The  compilers  have  expend- 
ed much  conscientious  labor  upon  the  work,  and  have  spared  no  pains 
to  secure  exact  information  from  the  most  reliable  sources.  By  the  aid 
of  manuscripts  and  correspondence,  which  have  come  to  light  during 
the  last  decade,  many  standard  myths  and  fanciful  traditions  have 
been  dispelled  and  disproved.  It  has  been  the  aim  to  prepare  a  correct 
history  of  Detroit  in  the  narrative  style,  giving  the  natural  chronolog- 
ical order  of  events.     This  makes  a  work  adapted  for  general  reading 

as  well  as  a  book  of  reference,  a  book  which  it  is  believed  will  be  en- 
joyed by  readers  of  all  ages. 

To  avoid  diverting  the  attention  of  the  reader  by  the  use  of  foot 
notes,  all  explanatory  matter  and  references  have  been  incorporated  in 
the  regular  text  of  the  book.  Each  prominent  man  is  introduced  with 
a  succinct  biography  which  describes  his  personal  appearance  and  his 
most  striking  characteristics,  without  glossing  over  his  faults,  with- 
out detracting  from  his  merits.  The  co-relation  and  significance  of 
the  principal  events  is  also  shown  understandingly.  Landmarks  of 
Detroit  is  a  narrative  of  extraordinary  interest  for  which  the  compilers 
claim  no  particular  credit.  They  have  only  taken  the  natural  course 
of  events  and  combined  them  in  consecutive  order. 

We  desire  to  express  grateful  acknowledgments  to  Mr.  C.  M.  Burton, 
of  Detroit,  who  has  taken'  a  personal  interest  in  this  work  from  the 
first.  Mr.  Burton  is  known  everywhere  as  the  possessor  of  the  most 
complete  historical  library  in  the  West.  He  has  about  10,000  volumes, 
and  at  least  25,000  manuscripts,  which  relate  either  directly  or  indi- 
rectly to  Detroit.  He  has  complete  files  of  most  of  the  old  newspapers 
of  the  city  and  the  official  and  commercial  correspondence  of  the  early 
settlers.  The  correspondence  of  Cadillac  and  the  other  French  com- 
mandants, the  correspondence  of  the  British  commandants  and  later 
documents,  showing  the  development  of  the  western  territory  into 
States,  is  also  to  be  found  in  his  library.  All  this  priceless  material 
Mr.  Burton  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  compilers,  and  he  took  so  pro- 
found an  interest  in  the  work  that  he  revised  all  the  manuscripts  and 
the  proofs.  The  fact  that  this  matter  has  passed  through  Mr.  Burton's 
hands  and  has  met  his  approval,  is  the  best  recommendation  of  the 
work  we  can  offer.  The  matter  has  been  culled  from  original  sources 
in  order  to  avoid,  as  much  as  possible,  the  errors  which  have  crept  into 
standard  histories. 

Acknowledgment  is  also  due  to  Mr.  Richard  R.  ElHott,  who  fur- 
nished valuable  matter  regarding  the  history  of  the  early  Jesuit  mis- 

sion,  the  affairs  of  old  Ste.  Anne's  and  the  conspiracy  of  Pontiac.  That 
the  book  contains  many  errors  cannot  bed  oubted.  It  is  not  given  to 
man  to  produce  perfect  work.  Landmarks  of  Detroit  is  submitted  with 
a  confidence  which  is  supported  by  the  hard  and  conscientious  work 
which  has  been  expended  upon  it. 

The  compilers, 

Robert   B.    Ross, 
George  B.   Catlin. 




The  Coming  of  Cadillac — He  is  Accompanied  by  Fifty  Soldiers,  Fifty  Civilians 
and  One  Hundred  Algonquin  Indians— Selects  Detroit  as  the  Most  Com- 
manding Position  on  the  Straits .   1-5 


Early  Discoveries  in  North  America— Great  Britain  and  Spain  Held  the  Coast- 
France  Aimed  to  Secure  Canada,  the  Lake  Region,  the  Mississippi  River 
and  the  Unknown  West.— 1492-1701 6-13 


The  Great  Explorers — Robert  Cavalier  de  La  Salle — The  Cruise  of  Le  Griffon — 
Father  Hennepin  Visits  the  Upper  Mississippi — Daniel  Grisolon  Duluth 
Builds  a  Fort  at  the  Foot  of  Lake  Huron— 1669-1700 12-21 


Cadillac  the  Founder  of  Detroit — A  Clever  Gascon  Who  Has  Been  Much  Ma- 
ligned— He  was  a  Privateer  Preying  upon  the  New  England  Coast — Then 
Commandant  at  Mackinaw— 1668-1701 21-31 


Cadillac  Foolishly  Quarrels  with  the  Jesuits  and  Lays  the  Foundation  of  all  His 
Misfortunes — He  Wanted  to  Sell  Brandy  to  the  Indians  in  Defiance  of  the 
Law— 1685-1700 32-39 


Indians  and  Coureurs  de  Bois — Characteristics  of  the  Indians  and  of  the  Half- 
Wild  Voyageurs,  Who  Were  the  First  Commercial  Travelers  in  America — 
1660-1700 39-47 


What  the  Pioneers  Found  at  Detroit — Events  Contemporaneous  with  the  Found- 
ing of  the  City — Description  of  the  Fauna  and  Flora  of  the  Region  as  De- 
scribed in  Ancient  Reports— 1701-1703 47-58 


Plots  and  Counterplots  between  Cadillac  and  His  Enemies— The  Merchants  of 
Montreal  Oppose  the  Development  of  Detroit  for  Fear  of  Its  Future  Rivalry 
— Detroit  was  a  Great  Beaver  Region 58-67 


Cadillac  Quells  a  Conspiracy — Agents  of  the  Company  of  the  Colony  Detected 
in  Stealing — Their  Friends  Support  Them — Cadillac  Summoned  to  Montreal 
for  Trial 67-76 


Father  Del  Halle,  the  First  Pastor  of  St.  Anne's  Church,  Murdered  by  the  In- 
dians— Cadillac  is  Sent  from  Montreal  to  Punish  the  Murderer — His  Enemies 
Seek  to  Compromise  Him  with  the  Indians  and  with  His  Superiors — 1706- 
1708 ..-. 77-85 


Early  Official  Reports  on  Detroit — Cadillac's  Enemies  Plot  to  Have  the  Post 
Abandoned — They  Willfully  Misrepresent  Affairs  to  the  Government — 1701- 
1710 85-89 


First  Families  of  Detroit — The  First  Directory  and  Tax  List  as  Compiled  by  C. 

M.  Burton— Inventory  of  the  Property  Owned  by  Cadillac— 1701-1710  ...90-116 


How  the  Confusion  Arose  Among  the  Names  of  the  Pioneers — Father  Christian 

Denissen's  Discoveries  Regarding  the  Changing  of  Family  Names llG-119 


Cadillac  is  Made  Governor  of  Louisiana — His  Apparent  Promotion  is  a  Scheme 
of  His  Enemies — They  Confiscate  His  Propert}'  and  He  Returns  to  France 
Ruined  and  Heartbroken— 1710-1720 119-124 



Pierre  Francois  de  Charlevoix  Visits  Detroit  in  1711 — Detroit  is  Declared  a  Most 
Desirable  and  Important  Post — Founding  of  the  Huron  Mission  at  Sandwich 
in  1728 _ 124-130 


Detroit  is  Beseiged  by  the  Sacs  and  Foxes,  Indians  from  Green  Bay — The 
Church  of  St.  Anne's  Burned — Hard  Fought  Battle  at  Windmill  Point  in 
Which  the  Hostile  Indians  are  Defeated— 1712  . 130-137 


A  Feud  Commenced  Between  the  Huron  and  Ottawa  Tribes— The  Hurons  Com- 
pelled to  Flee  to  Sandusky — They  Return  to  Settle  at  Bois  Blanc  Island  and 
Later  at  Sandwich— 1735-1746 137-143 


Recreations  and  Occupations  of  the  Early  Settlers — Races  Between  the  Fleet 
French  Ponies  on  the  Ice — Attempt  to  Extend  the  French  Domain  in  Ohio 
and  Pennsylvania— 1750-1760 143-148 


Feeble  Attempts  to  Strengthen  the  French  Outposts — The  Determination  of 
Great  Britain  to  Seize  the  French  Strongholds  Becomes  Apparant — 1755- 
1760 - 148-152 


Rise  of  William  Pitt  in  England — His  Aggressive  Territorial  Policy  Culminates 
in  a  Border  War — The  French  are  Beaten  at  Every  Point — Quebec,  Mon- 
treal, Detroit  and  Du  Quesne  Surrendered  to  the  British— 1755-1760     .  .152-162 


The  British  Take  Possession  of  Detroit — Pontiac  Demands  Recognition  of  Them 
— The  Indians  Prefer  Frenchmen  Who  Treat  Them  as  Equals — They  Show 
an  Inclination  to  Attack  the  Newcomers— 1760 162-169 


Pontiac,  the  Napoleon  of  the  Western  Indians — He  Conspires  with  the  Chiefs  of 
Sixty  Tribes  to  Drive  the  British  Out  of  the  Country— His  Plans  are  Be- 
trayed to   Commandant  Gladwin— 1761-1763 169-178 


Detroit  is  Besieged  by  2,()0<)  Indians — Murder  of  Captain  Donald  Campbell  and 
a  Number  of  Settlers — Massacres  at  Mackinaw,  St.  Joseph,  Miami,  Sandusky 
and  Other  Posts— 1763.... 178-190 


Detroit  was  Saved  by  Pretty  Angelique  Cuillerier  Beaubien — The  Belle  of  the 
French  Settlement  Learns  of  Pontiac's  Treachery — She  Tells  Her  Lover, 
James  Sterling,  and  Sterling  Informs  Gladwin— 1763 190-193 


The  British  Home  Government  Neglects  the  Colonies  and  Detroit  Languishes  as 
a  Settlement— The  Selfish  PoHcy  of  the  British  Tradesmen  Was  the  Cause 
of  Most  of  the  Colonial  Troubles— 1763-1773 194-200 


Obstructive  Legislation  and  Excessive  Taxation  Breed  Discontent — New  Eng- 
land Settlers  Rise  in  Rebellion — Detroit  Under  Lieut.  -Gov.  Henry  Hamil- 
ton Becomes  a  Fire  in  the  Rear — The  "  Great  Hairbuyer"  and  His  Corrupt 
Rule— 1773-1775 .' 201-203 


Hamilton  Arms  the  Indians  and  Sets  Them  on  the  Ohio  Settlers — Human  Scalps 
Bring  £1  Each  in  the  Detroit  Commandant's  Office — Philip  Dejean,  Hamil- 
ton's Unscrupulous  "  Chief  Justice  "—1776-1777 204-212 


Gen.  George  Rogers  Clark  Captures  Vmcennes  and  Other  British  Posts — Ham- 
ilton Goes  to  Recover  Them  and  is  Captured — He  Narrowly  Escapes  Hang- 
ing at  the  Hands  of  the  Colonists— 1778-1779... 212-219 


How  the  Fort  and  Settlement  Looked  During  the  Revolutionary  War — Charac- 
ter of  Houses— Costumes  of  the  Various  People — Drunken  Indians  and  Re- 
turning Raiders  with  Reeking  Scalps  and  Live  Prisoners  to  Torture  on  the 
Common 220-226 


Shocking  Butchery  of  Ohio  Settlers  by  the  British  Indians — A  Bill  of  Lading  for 
a  Shipment  of  954  Human  Scalps,  Which  Tell  a  Gruesome  Story — Reprisals 
by  the  Settlers — Shameless  Butcher}'  of  the  Moravian  Indians 227-23 


Martyrdom  of  Colonel  Crawford — He  is  Burned  at  the  Stake  by  the  Indians — 
Simon  Girty,  the  Renegade,  Scoffs  at  His  Agonies— Dr.  Knight's  Story  of 
the    Tortures 233-238 


Great  Britain's  Motives  for  Ignoring  the  Treaty  of  Peace — Determined  to  Hold 
the  Border  Posts  from  Which  to  Renew  the  War  on  the  Colonists — Why 
They  Held  Detroit  Unj  ustly  for  Thirteen  Years 238-244 


Indian  Wars  Following  the  Revolution — British  Influence  Causes  Constant  Vio- 
lations of  Treaties — Disastrous  Campaigns  of  Gen.  Josiah  Harmar  and  Gen. 
Arthur  St.  Clair— Mad  Anthony  Wayne  Wins  a  Signal  Victory— 1784-1792 


The  British  Evacuate  Detroit,  July  11,  1796— The  Victory  of  General  Wayne  is 
Followed  by  the  Jay  Treaty — Death  of  General  Wayne — The  Northwest 
Territory  Created  before  Possession  was  Secured  by  the  Americans — Win- 
throp  Sargent  Gives  the  Name  of  Wayne  County  to  a  Great  Territory ...251-255 


Isaac  Weld's  Description  of  Detroit  in  1796 — Two-thirds  of  the  Residents  are 
French — Twelve  Trading  Vessels  Carry  its  Commerce — Jacob  Burnett,  Solo- 
mon Sibley  and  other  Notables  Arrive 255-260 


Early  Ordinances  of  the  New  American  Town — First  Charter  Issued  in  1802 — 
Extraordinary  Precautions  against  Fire — The  First  Fire  Department  and 
its  Divisions  of  Work — A  Public  Market  Established  on  the  River  Front — A 
One-Man  Police  Force 260-268 


Rule  of  the  Governor  and  Judges — Schemes  of  the  Rapacious  Land-Grabbers — 
John  Askin  and  Others  Attempt  to  Get  Possession  of  20,000,000  Acres  by 
Bribing  Congressman — Their  Schemes  Exposed — Governor  Hull  and  Judge 
Woodward 269-2 


Great  Fire  of  1805 — The  Entire  Town  Destroyed  on  June  11 — Three  Hundred 
Families  Left  Homeless— Relief  Measures  and  Grant  of  the  10,000  Acres — 
Judge  "Woodward  La^'s  out  a  New  City  on  the  Scale  of  Paris— The  Territorial 
Militia ---- - 276-284 


The  Bank  of  Detroit — A  Well  Planned  Swindle  which  Gave  the  Promoters 
Riches  and  the  People  of  Michigan  a  Bad  Reputation — A  Large  Amount 
of  Worthless  Bills  Circulated  but  Never  Redeemed — Early  Grand  Juries — 
1806-1808 - - - 284-293 


Tecumseh  and  the  Prophet  Plan  to  Drive  the  Americans  out  of  the  West — They 
Rouse  the  Indians  to  .Hostility,  Intending  to  Unite  with  the  British — Gen- 
eral Harrison  Defeats  Them  at  the  Battle  of  Tippacanoe,  November  7, 
1811--.. 293-300 


Causes  Leading  Up  to  the  War  of  1812 — Great  Britain  Persists  in  Impressing 
American  Sailors — Attempts  to  Cripple  the  American  Navy — Every  Nation 
Against  the  United  States — Affair  of  the  Chesapeake  and  the  Leopard — The 
Embargo  Act 301-305 


War  Declared  July  19,  1812— Condition  of  the  Northern  Border— The  British 
Enlist  the  Indians — Michigan  Militia  Called  Out — Detroit  Volunteers  In- 
vade Canada  to  Capture  Maiden,  but  are  Recalled  by  General  Hull — De- 
troit Surrendered  with  a  Superior  Force  of  Men  and  a  Large  Quantity  of 
Stores 306-323 


Settlers  and  Garrison  of  Fort  Dearborn  (Chicago)  Massacred  by  Indians — Gen- 
eral Harrison  Rescues  the  Garrison  at  Fort  Wayne — General  Hull  Con- 
victed of  Cowardice  and  Incompetence  and  Sentenced  to  be  Shot — Sentence 
Suspended 323-329 


Massacre  of  Winchesters's  Troops  at  the  River  Raisin — Victims  of  an  Incompe- 
tent Commander  and  a  Treacherous  Enemy — Humane  Residents  of  Maiden 
Ransom  Prisoners  from  the  Indians . .  329-333 



The  Campaign  in  Northern  Ohio — Gallant  Defenses  Made  by  Gen.  William  H. 
Harrison  and  Maj.  George  Croghan — Oliver  Hazard  Perry  Plans  to  Control 
Lake  Erie— Builds  a  Fleet  of  Ships  at  Erie 333-337 


The  Battle  of  Lake  Erie — Fortune  Favored  the  Heaviest  Artillery — The  Surren- 
der of  the  British  Fleet  Leaves  the  Lakes  in  Possession  of  the  Americans — 
Harrison  Prepares  to  Invade  Canada .- - 338-343 


Proctor  Runs  Away  from  Maiden — Tecumseh  Taunts  Him  with  Cowardice — 
The  British  Evacuate  Detroit,  Carrying  Away  the  Cannon  and  Military 
Stores— Battle  of  the  Thames— Death  of  Tecumseh— Flight  of  Proctor... 344-349 

CHAPTER  XLVni.    ^ 

Detroit  Occupied  by  the  American  Army — They  Build  a  Cantonment  of  Log 
Huts  West  of  Fort  Lernoult — Indians  Murder  Several  Residents — General 
Cass  Drives  the  Indians  Away  from  Detroit... 349-355 


Detroit  Begins  to  Develop  under  the  Peace  of  1815 — Road  Building  Begun — The 
First  Steamboat  Arrives,  August  27,  1818 — Sedate  Men  Lay  Aside  Their 
Dignity  and  Indulge  in  a  Frolic — Founding  of  Pontiac  of  1819 355-360 


Michigan's  First  Delegate  to  Congress — Politics  were  Politics  Even  in  the  Olden 
Time— Father  Gabriel  Richard  Locked  up  in  Jail  to  Prevent  His  Candidacy 
— The  French  Residents  Give  Him  a  Plurality  over  his  Unscrupulous  Com- 
petitors....  360-365 


Detroit  under  a  new  Regime — The  Territorial  Ordinance  of  1823  Puts  an  End  to 
the  Autocratic  Sway  of  the  Governor  and  Judges — The  Ferry  Established 
by  Capt.  John  Burtis— The  Erie  Canal  Opened  in  1825-  Stephen  G.  Sim- 
mons Hanged  at  Detroit  for  Murder 866-372 


Michigan's  Early  Supreme  Judges — David  Irvin,  George  Morell  and  Ross  Wilkins 
— William  Woodbridge  and  His  Father-in-law,  Jonathan  Trumbull — Dr. 
Douglass  Houghton  and  Henry  R.  Schoolcraft  Explore  the  Upper  Penin- 
sula and  the  Sources  of  the  Mississippi ..373-379 


Cholera  Epidemics  of  Early  Days — The  Steamer  Henry  Clay  Brought  the  In- 
fection in  1832— In  1834  it  Returned  to  Claim  Over  700  Victims— Heroic 
Labors  of  Father  Gabriel  Richard  and  Martin  Kundig— 1833-1834 380-386 


Story  of  the  Toledo  War — A  Serio-Comic  Dispute  Which  Promised  to  End  in  a 
War  between  Ohio  and  Michigan — Michigan  Prepares  for  Statehood — 
Lucius  Lyon  and  John  Norvell  the  First  Senators  Elected  by  the  Legis- 
lature  - -..387-397 


Dr.  Douglass  Houghton  Begins  the  First  Geological  Survey  of  the  State — He 
Reveals  Some  of  the  Vast  Resources — The  Canadian  Rebellion — Causes 
Which  Led  to  the  Uprising  of  an  Oppressed  People — Exciting  Times  at 
Detroit,  Windsor  and  Sandwich... 397-404 


The  Campaign  of  1840 — How  a  Word  of  Ridicule  against  General  Harrison,  the 
Pioneer  Soldier,  Set  the  Country  on  Fire  with  Political  Zeal — The  Creation 
of  the  Republican  Party — Conceived  in  the  Office  of  the  Detroit  Tribune,  It 
Was  Born  "Under  the  Oaks  at  Jackson".. 404-409 


Constitution  of  1850 — It  Is  an  Example  of  the  Folly  of  Attempting  to  Legislate 
too  far  in  Advance  of  the  Times — It  Contains  a  Few  Excellent  Provisions  in 
Advance  of  the  Constitution  of  1835  and  a  Lot  of  Detrimental  Restric- 
tions  409-413 


The  Famous  Railroad  Conspiracy — First  Encounter  of  Michiganders  with  a 
"Soulless  Corporation" — High-handed  Measures  Provoke  the  People  to 
Anarchy— They  Burn  the  Michigan  Central  Railroad  Depot  at  Detroit, 
September  19,  1850 — Thirty- eight  Farmers  Arrested  for  the  Crime  and  a 
Number  are  Severely  Punished .414-418 


Detroit  During  the  War  of  the  Rebellion — How  the  People  of  the  North  Allowed 
Themselves  to  be  Disarmed — Detroit  Becomes  the  Rendezvous  for  Michigan 
Patriots  and  a  Rallying  Point  for  Advocates  of  Dishonor  and  Treason — 
Wild  Scenes  on  the  Campus  Martius ^ 418-430 


Money,  Banks  and  Finances — Governor  Mason's  Zeal  Leads  Him  into  Disastrous 
Financiering — Michigan  Mulcted  for  Millions  in  Early  Railroad  Building — 
How  Fraudulent  Banks  Kept  Afloat  in  Spite  of  the  Inspectors — The  Country 
Flooded  with  Wildcat  Money 431-442 


The  Detroit  Metropolitan  Police  Department — Constables,  Deputy-Sheriffs  and 
Marshals  Preserved  the  Peace  of  the  Community  for  165  Years — The  Police 
Department  Has  Developed  Since  1865 — Detroit  House  of  Correction 443-446 


History  of  the  Detroit  Waterworks — The  River  Always  the  Chief  Source  of  Sup- 
ply— Delivery  to  the  Consumer  First  Accomplished  in  Buckets;  then  in 
Pony  Carts;  then  in  Hollow  Tamarack  Logs,  and  Finally  in  Huge  Iron  Mains 
— Migration  of  the  Pumping  Stations 446-450 


Development  of  the  Gas  Industry  and  the  Municipal  Lighting  Plant — From  Pine 
Knots  and  Tallow  Dips  to  Welsbach  and  Edison  Burners — Bitter  Competi- 
tion between  Rival  Companies  in  Gas  and  Electric  Lighting 450-455 


Cemeteries  of  Two  Centuries  in  Detroit — The  Heart  of  the  City  Built  on  the 
Bones  of  a  Forgotten  Population — History  of  the  Most  Notable  Graveyards 
— Thousands  Lie  in  Unmarked  Graves  Beneath  Public  Streets  and  Build- 
ings  455-459 


Parks,  Boulevards  and  Breathing  Places  Maintained  for  the  People — History 
of  Belle  Isle  and  its  Various  Owners — Palmer,  Grand  Circus,  Clark  and 
Other  Valuable  Lands  Devoted  to  Public  Use— The  Older  Parks  Were  Once 
Swamp  Holes  and  Dumping  Grounds 459-463 


The  City  and  County  Poor  Department — Detroit  was  Slow  in  Providing  for  the 
Poor — The  Cholera  Epidemic  Filled  the  Town  with  Helpless  Orphans — 
Father  Kundig's  Herculean  Labors — Purchase  of  the  Black  Horse  Tavern 
Site— Horrors  of  the  old  Crazy  House. 463-467 


History  of  the  Detroit  Fire  Department — Fierce  Rivalry  of  the  Early  Volunteer 
Companies — The  Men  of  the  Hand  Engines  Surrender  to  the  Steam  Engines 
—Notable  Fires  of  the  Past  Century 468-479 


The  Public  Library  and  the  Art  Museum— The  County  Officials  Withhold  the 
Library  Funds  for  Several  Years  and  Convert  Them  to  Other  Uses — Public 
Spirited  Citizens  Contribute  Liberally  to  Establish  an  Art  Museum  in  De- 
troit—Present Status  of  the  Two  Institutions 479-484 


Public  Sewers  and  Pavements — Developed  from  Open  Ditches  and  Corduroy 
Roads — There  are  Now  512  Miles  of  Paved  Streets  and  Nearly  as  Many 
Miles  of  Sewers 485-489 


Freemasonry  and  Other  Secret  Benevolent  Societies — Military  Lodges  in  the 
Early  Days  of  British  Rule — The  Morgan  Excitement- -Odd  Fellowship  in 
Detroit 489-492 


Medical  Colleges  and  Hospitals — Detroit  College  of  Medicine  and  Harper  Hos- 
pial  Developed  Together — Michigan  College  of  Medicine  and  Emergency 
Hospital — Charitable  Gifts  of  Walter  Harper  and  Ann,  "Nancy,"  Martin — 
Grace  Hospital  Founded  and  Endowed  by  John  S.  Newberry  and  James 
McMillan 493-498 


The  Era  of  Railroad  Building  in  Michigan — How  Detroit  Obtained  Communi- 
cation with  the  Other  Centers  of  Population — The  Campus  Martins  was 
Once  the  Railway  Terminal— Advent  of  Canadian  and  Ohio  Lines  Opening 
the  Way  to  the  Atlantic  Seaboard — James  F.  Joy  a  Leading  Spirit 499-506 


The  Y.  M.  C.  A.  and  its  Early  Struggles  for  Existence — Founding  of  the  Board 

of  Trade — The  Chamber  of  Commerce  and  its  Troublous  Career .506-509 


The  University  of  Michigan — The  Pedantry  of  Judge  Woodward — How  its  Rich 
Endowment  was  Wasted — The  Early  Schools  of  Detroit — The  Board  of  Ed- 
ucation   509-517 


Churches  and  Religious  Societies  in  Detroit — Ste.  Anne's  Was  the  Only  Church 
During  the  First  Century  of  the  City's  History — The  Moravians  in  1781-82— 
Protestant  Missionaries  Visit  Detroit  in  1800  —  Founding  of  the  Early 
Churches — Edifices  of  the  Various  Churches 517-535 


The  Modern  Newspapers  of  Detroit — The  Tribune  and  the  Detroit  Free  Press 
Rival  Claimants  for  the  Honors  of  Seniority — Beginnings  of  the  Four  Dailies 
Now  in  Existence — The  Gazette  and  Other  Journals  of  the  Past — List  of 
the  Papers  and  Periodicals  now  Published  in  the  City 536-542 


History  of  Detroit's  Street  Railways — First  Franchise  Granted  in  1862 — Short 
Lines  Prove  Losing  Ventures — Gradual  Combination  of  Lines  and  Exten- 
sions of  Service — The  Citizens'  Company's  Claims  of  Monopolistic  Rights — 
The  Contest  between  Mayor  Hazen  S.  Pingree  and  the  Street  Railway  Com- 
panies  542-555 


Telegraph  and  Telephone  Communication — How  the  Numerous  Short  Telegraph 
Lines  were  Combined  into  Two  Great  Systems,  Affording  Communication 
with  All  Parts  of  the  World — Telephone  Lines  Developed  into  General  Com- 
munication   555-559 


Detroit's  Marine  Interests  on  the  Great  Lakes — How  the  Great  Fleet  of  Lake 
Carriers  Succeeded  the  Birch  Bark  Canoes  of  the  Voyageurs  and  Fur  Traders 
— It  Was  the  Three  Small  Vessels,  Beaver,  Gladwin  and  Bear,  Which  Saved 
Detroiters  from  Starvation  During  the  Siege  of  1763 560-566 


Detroit's  Public  Buildings,  Commercial  Houses  and  Private  Residences — The 
City  Hall— The  New  County  Building— The  Federal  Building  and  Other 
Costly  Structures 566-573 



History  of  the  Small-Pox  Epidemics  Which  Have  Visited  the  City — Struggle  of 
the  Vaccination  Against  Popular  Prejudice — Ravages  of  the  Disease  at  Va- 
rious Times  Among  the  Poor  in  Densely  Populated  Portions  of  the  City. 573-577 


Hotels  and  Taverns  of  the  Past  and  Present — The  Old  Mansion  House — Ben. 
Wood  worth's  Steamboat  Hotel — The  Michigan  Exchange,  and  Many  Others 
—Personality  of  the  Old-Time  Proprietors 577-587 


Detroit  Militia  Organizations,  Past  and  Present — Sheriffs  of  Wayne  County 
Since  1796 587-591 


Amusements,  Recreations  and  Sports — Music  and  Drama — Detroit  Theatres 
Since  1798 — Horse  Racing,  Rowing.  Cricket,  Athletics,  Yachting,  Baseball, 
Bicycling  and  Social  Organizations ..591-617 

Mayors  and  Common  Council  of  the  City  ef  Detroit 617-621 

Detroit  as  a  Modern  Commercial  City .622-629 

BIOGRAPHICAL ....631-872 



GENERAL 277-304 

BIOGRAPHICAL ....305-306 



Alger,  Russell  A.,.-.   facing     40 

Anderson,  William  K., facing  376 

Andrews,  Myron  H.,  M.  D.,  ..facing  628 

Apel,  Franz  A., facing  636 

Armstrong,  Oscar  S..M.  D.,.. facing  638 

Barbour,  Edwin  S facing  200 

Barbour,  George  H facing  288 

Baumgartner,  F.  J-.  Rev., facing  400 

Baxter,  William  H., facing  643 

Beal,  Francis  R facing  644 

Bennett,  William  C, facing  460 

Berry,  Thomas, facing  240 

Bielman,  Charles  F facing  648 

Bishop,  Jerome  H., facing  650 

Blackburn,  Joel  S.,  M.  D.,    ...facing  508 

Bradley.  Herbert, facing  652 

Brodhead,  Thornton  F.,  Col.,  facing  216 

Brooks,  David  W. , facing  464 

Buncher,  Charles, facing  272 

Burroughs,  Samuel  Whiteside,  facing  657 

Campbell,   Henry  M facing  352 

Campbell,  James  V. , .facing     76 

Carstens,  J.  Henry,  M.  D facing  663 

Case,    George  F., facing  665 

Casgrain,  Charles  W., facing  666 

Catlin,  George  B  , facing  872 

Chandler,    Zachariah, facing     88 

Cheever,   Henry  M., facing  668 

Chittenden,  William  J.. facing  579 

Clark,  Joseph  H. , facing  592 

Chppert,  Frederick  J.,  M.  D.,  facing  672 

Conely,  Edwin  F.,  Col., facing  144 

Connor,  Leartus,  M.  D., facing  224 

Cook,  James  P., facing  677 

Crawford,  Samuel, facing  600 

Currie,   Cameron, facing  368 

Currie,  George  E., facing  679 

Davies,  Thomas  F.,  Rt.  Rev.,  facing  527 

Davis,  Edgar  A. , facing  683 

Dempsey,  Morgan  J.  P.,  Rev.,  facing  684 

Detroit  in  1708, facing     56 

Dick,  John  A. , facing  544 

Dickinson,  Don  M., facing  168 

Dickinson,  Julius  C,  M.  D., ..facing  408 
Dingwall,  George, ..facing  456 

Doherty,  James  G.,  Rev facing  689 

Doman,  Robert  F.  M.,  Rev., .facing  691 

Ducharme,  Charles, facing     64 

Du  Charme,  Charles  A., facing  312 

Duffield.  Samuel  P.,  M.  D.,... facing  493 

Du    Pont,  Antoine  B., facing  696 

Dwyer,  Jeremiah, facing  256 

Farrand,  Jacob  S. , facing  100 

Flowers,  Charles, facing  700 

Foley,  John  S.,  Rt.  Rev., facing  517 

Fox,  William  D., .facmg  702 

Eraser,  Elisha  A facing  604 

Gott,  Edward  A., facing  706 

Graham,  James, facing  548 

Greusel,  John, facing  708 

Griffith,  Armond  H., facing  484 

Gue,  Arthur  E..  M.  D.,.. facing  711 

Guelich,  Otto  E.  C facing  608 

Haass,  Charles  F.  W.,  Rev.,  ..facing  713 

Hahn,  Jacob  H. , facing  594 

Haigh,  Henry  A., ..facing  716 

Hamblen,  Joseph  G. , . . . facing  416 

Hamlen,   William  I.,   M.   D.,. facing  552 
Hanna,  Valentine  C,    Lieut. - 

Col. , facing  856 

Harsha,  Walter  S., facing  719 

Hayes,  Clarence  M.,   facing  720 

Hendrie,  George, ...facing  721 

Henry,  Albert  M.,    facing  344 

Hinsdale,  NehemiahC. , facing  725 

Hodges,  Henry  C.,. facing  152 

Holmes,  William  L., facing  612 

Humphrey,  Ira  G. , facing  731 

Hunt,  Wellington  Q., facmg  732 

Hutchins,  Jere  C  , .facing  556 

Ives,  Percy, facing  734 

Janes,  Oscar  A.,  Col., facing  424 

Johnson,  S.  Olin,  ..   facing  736 

Joslyn,  Charles  D., ..facing  738 

Joy,  James  F. , facing     52 

Jupp,  William  C, facing  74 i 

Keep,  William  J., facing  616 

Kelly,  Ronald, facing  744 

Kessler,  William  H.,. facing  746 

Knight,  Stephen  H., facing  560 

Lang,  Otto,  M.  D.,.. facing 

Lathrop,  Joseph,  sn,  D.D.S... facing 

Lawrence,  George  C. , facing 

Ledbeter,  Thomas, facing 

Leggett,  John  W.,... .facing 

Lennane,  John, . . facing 

LeSeure,  Oscar,  M.  D., facing 

Lewis,  Alexander, facing 

Livingstone,  William,  jr., facing 

Lodge,  Frank  T., facing 

Look,  William facing 

Lothrop,  George  V.  N., facing 

Lothrop.  Henry  B.,  Gen., facing 

McGregor,  John, .facing 

McLeod,  Alexander  L , facing 

McMillan,  James, facing 

McMillan,  William  C, facing 

McVittie,  Alexander, facing 

Marschner,  Ferdinand  W.,  ...facing 

Martindale,  Wales  C. , facing 

Marxhausen,  August, facing 

Maybury,  William  C.,... facing 

Mayhew,  David  P., facing 

Mehan,  John  D., facing 

Meigs,  Alfred  E., facing 

Mills,  Merrill  B. , facing 

Mills,  ]Merrill  L,    facing 

Moore,  George  William, facing 

Mulheron,  John  J.,  M.D., facing 

Newcomb,  Cyrenius  A., facing 

Ninde,  William  X.,  Rev., facing 

Owen,  Orville  W.,  M.  D., facing 

Paine,  George  H., facing 

Palmer,  Thomas  W. , facing 

Parker,  Aaron  A. , facing 

Parker,  Dayton,  M.  D., facing 

Parker,  Ralzemond  A. , facing 

Patterson,  John  E. , facing 

Pingree,  Hazen  S.,... facing 

Price,  Orrin  J., facing 

Ouinby,  William  E., facing 

Radford,  George  W.,.. facing 

Raymond,  Alexander  B. , facing 




Rich,  John  T facing  160 

Rogers,  Fordyce  H., facing  360 

Ross,  Robert  B.,... Frontispiece 

Safford,  Robert  C, facing  811 

Savage,  James,  Rev.,.. .facing  813 

Schmid,  John  A., facing  814 

Scripps,  James  E.,. facing  538 

Shaw,  John  T., facing  336 

Slocum,  EllioUT.,... ...facing  176 

Smedley,  John  H facing  818 

Smith,  Hamilton  E.,  M.  D.,.. facing  576 
Snow,  Edwards.,  M.  D.,  ....facing  820 

Snow,  Herbert  M. , facing  822 

Snow,  Frank  E facing  488 

Sprague,  William  C, facing  480 

Springer,  Oscar  M., facing  584 

Stacey,  William, facing  825 

Standish,  James  D., facing  184 

Starkweather,  George  A  , facing  829 

Stevenson,  Elliott  G., ..facing  280 

Stewart,  G.  Duffield,  M.  D.,.. facing  832 

Stoepel,  Frederick  C, ..facing  208 

Tarsnev,  Timothy  E., facing  835 

Taylor,' Elisha, .facing  232 

Taylor,  Joseph, facing  839 

Tefft,  William  H., facing  192 

Thurber,  Henry  T., facing  304 

Tuttle,  Jonathan  B., facing  843 

Van  Alstyne,  John  S., facing  844 

Van  Dyke,  Ernest,  Rev., facing  847 

Wadsworth,  Thomas  A. , facing  588 

Wagstaff,  Denman  S. ,  Col.,  ..facing  848 

Warner,  Carlos  E., facing  504 

Weadock,  Thomas  A.  E., facing  452 

Wilkins,  Charles  T., facing  853 

Wilkinson,  Albert  H., facing  512 

Williams,  Nathan  G., facing  855 

Wilson,  William  H.,  Capt.,... facing  859 

Wormer,  C.  C, 160,   Part  H 

Wurzer,  Carl facing  860 

Yawkey,  William  C, .facing  445 

Yearick,  Cincero  R., ..facing  860 



The  Coming  of  Cadillac — He  is  Accompanied  by  Fifty  Soldiers,  Fifty  Civilians 
and  One  Hundred  Algonquin  Indians — Selects  Detroit  as  the  Most  Commanding 
Position  on  the  Straits. 

On  the  23d  day  of  July,  1701,  late  in  the  afternoon,  when  the  Detroit 
River  gleamed  like  molten  gold  under  the  hot  summer  sun,  a  fleet  of 
birch  bark  canoes  suddenly  appeared  off  the  head  of  Belle  Isle,  and, 
propelled  swiftly  by  the  sturdy  arms  of  the  rowers,  bore  rapidly  down 
with  the  current  in  the  direction  of  the  high  banks  and  the  wooded 
slopes  along  the  western  shore.  Neither  friend  nor  foe  came  forth  to 
greet  the  intrepid  travelers,  who  thus  arrived  unheralded,  and  who 
were  soon  to  bring  to  a  welcome  termination  one  of  those  remarkable 
journeys,  at  once  the  necessity  and  the  extremity  of  pioneer  days  in 
this  great  northwestern  country,  of  which  Detroit  was  the  center  and 
most  important  post  during  a  period  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  years. 
The  route  of  these  weary  travelers  had  led  by  baffling  stages  for  sev- 
eral hundred  leagues  through  tortuous  streams  and  primeval  forests, 
whose  wild  grandeur  was  intensified  by  vast  solitude  and  whose  dangers 
in  the  way  of  marauding  bands  of  murderous  red  skins,  untried  rapids 
in  unknown  rivers,  and  the  fierce  assaults  of  wild  animals,  might  well 
appall  the  stoutest  hearts.  Thence  the  course  lay  along  the  waters  of 
the  mighty  inland  seas,  whose  limits,  whose  storms  and  whose  reefs 
and  shoals  were  to  these  hardy  invaders  of  the  wilderness  alike  un- 
known. Encamped  under  the  stars  by  night  and  guided  by  friendly 
voyageurs  by  day,  the  little  band  had  come  at  last  almost  to  their  long 
journey's  end;  and  never  was  time  more  auspicious  to  bid  a  welcome. 
History  records  that  the  newcomers  entered  Detroit  River  upon  a  day 

splendid  and  golden,  like  their  hopes  of  future  fortune,  and  that 
never  did  the  green  groves  edging  the  shores  present  a  more  superb 
appearance,  being  as  they  were  absolutely  guiltless  of  the  desecrating 
contact  of  the  hand  of  civilized  man,  his  rude  destroying  axe,  or  his 
leveling  plow,  and  being  furthermore  in  the  ver>  height  of  summer's 
gayest  livery  of  vivid  green. 

The  sight  the  travelers  gained  of  their  future  home  was  inspiring, 
and  yet  the  groves  edging  the  shores  where  lisped  the  peaceful  blue 
river  were  merely  the  border  of  a  mighty  wilderness.  Birds  of  rare 
plumage  caroled  forth  a  welcome,  and  the  breezes  whispered  of  peace 
and  rest.  Afar,  rising  here  and  there  to  the  bright  blue  skies,  soft  as 
those  of  sunny  southern  France,  curled  an  occasional  thin  column  of 
smoke,  marking  the  camp  fire  of  some  roving  band  of  Indians;  but  no 
human  sound  awoke  the  echoes  of  the  slumbering  shores  of  the  wide 
strait,  nor  disturbed  the  intense  serenity  of  the  peaceful  groves.  Had 
there  been  any  Indians  at  this  point  on  either  side  of  the  silent  stream, 
whose  currents  ever  ran  toward  the  mighty  ocean,  a  thousand  miles 
away,  they  could  have  seen  a  fleet  of  bark  canoes,  whose  occupants 
were  clad  with  unconventional  informality,  for  full  clothing  was  not  de- 
sirable on  that  warm  July  day.  There  were  twenty-five  large  canoes, 
occupied  by  one  hundred  white  men,  and  they  were  led  by  an  escort  of 
smaller  craft  propelled  by  one  hundred  Algonquin  Indians.  History 
and  tradition  aver  that  no  human  being  saw  from  the  shore  the  ap- 
proaching flotilla  at  this  point.  The  canoes  were  capacious  crafts, 
each  being  about  twenty-five  feet  in  length  and  having  a  beam  of  six 
feet ;  their  capacity  was  about  two  tons  each. 

The  uniforms  of  the  fifty  soldiers  (for  such  indeed  was  the  official 
station  of  half  the  travelers)  were  those  of  the  period,  common  to  the 
army  of  France ;  dark  blue  coats  with  white  facings,  the  garments  being 
fastened  at  the  neck  and  cut  away  tapering  toward  the  bottom,  with 
white  narrow  slashes  of  about  three  inches  in  length,  which  defined 
and  covered  the  unused  button  hole;  diagonally  across  from  shoulder 
to  hip  were  baldrics  of  white ;  and  knee  breeches  and  leggings  of  the 
same  color  completed  the  decorations  of  their  uniforms.  Some  of  the 
troopers,  with  a  touch  of  that  precision  in  dress  that  has  ever  been  a 
characteristic  of  the  French  nation,  even  retained  the  white  powder  on 
their  wigs,  despite  the  fatiguing  voyage  on  which  negligence  of  toilet 
would  be  entirely  excusable.  All  the  soldiers  wore  the  famous  three- 
cornered  chapeau  of  felt  or  cloth,   surmounted  with  three  feathers. 

The  three  officers  wore  substantially  the  same  uniform,  the  only  differ- 
ence being-  in  the  texture  of  the  cloth,  and  an  occasional  ornament  in 
the  shape  of  embroidery  on  the  hat  and  coat.  However,  it  is  not  to  be 
supposed  that  a  canoe  voyage  of  forty- eight  days,  with  exposure  to  sun 
and  rain  and  with  camping  in  primeval  forests  at  night,  had  not  made 
sad  havoc  with  military  toilets.  Nor  could  it  be  expected,  therefore, 
that  these  half  hundred  soldiers  could  have  passed  a  dress  parade  in- 
spection at  the  hands  of  some  military  martinet.  Be  that  as  it  may, 
neither  privations  nor  dangers  had  dimmed  the  lustre  of  the  proud  flag 
of  France,  which  was  flaunted  to  the  breezes'  caress  at  the  stern  of  the 
canoe  of  the  expedition's  leader — a  field  of  white  with  three  golden 
fleurs  de  lis  on  a  blue  shield.  From  several  of  the  canoes  arose  the  in- 
spiring strains  of  martial  music,  the  drum  and  ear-piercing  fife.  Be- 
sides the  soldiers  there  was  an  equal  number  of  emigrants,  so  that  the 
expedition  numbered  one  hundred  in  all.  These  emigrants  were  agri- 
culturists and  artisans. 

In  the  first  canoe  sat  the  Chevalier  Cadillac,  leader  of  the  expedition, 
holding  a  small  telescope  in  his  hand  with  which  he  frequently  sur- 
veyed the  landscape.  He  was  a  man  forty  three  years  of  age,  of  dis- 
tinguished mien,  with  the  dark  complexion  of  the  south  of  France,  for 
he  was  a  Gascon ;  his  eyes  were  bright  and  piercing  and  his  expression 
denoted  courage,  persistency  and  buoyant  spirits.  His  face  bore  traces 
of  the  battle  of  life,  of  conflict  with  opposing  forces  and  of  exposure  to 
the  elements.  As  sailor,  soldier,  explorer  and  statesman,  he  had  al- 
ready made  many  pages  of  French  history.  Such  was  Antoine  Laumet 
de  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Lord  of  Dcnaquec  and  Mt.  Desert,  Knight  of 
the  Royal  and  Military  order  of  St.  Louis,  and  for  five  years  command- 
ant of  the  post  of  Michilimackinac.  He  surveyed  with  restless  eyes 
the  thickly  wooded  shores,  seeking  a  convenient  spot  for  disembarking. 
Every  available  spot  for  the  site  of  a  military  post  was  carefully  ob- 
served. Cadillac  wanted  the  most  commanding  situation  on  the  river; 
a  place  where  the  cannon  of  the  future  post  could  defend  the  stream  and 
keep  the  gateway  of  the  lakes  against  all  the  enemies  of  France.  The 
fleet  passed  down  the  stream  to  the  mouth  of  the  river.  When  passing 
Grosse  Isle  the  commander  thought  of  founding  his  post  on  that  island, 
because  Paris  was  originally  founded  on  the  Isle  de  Paris,  but  realized 
that  such  a  location  would  make  it  difficult  to  transport  heavy  merchan- 
dise, wood  and  the  other  necessaries  of  life  from  the  main  land,  and 
that  at  times  the  running  ice  would  make  it  impossible  to  use  the  frail 

bark  canoes  for  outside  communication.  They  camped  on  Grosse  Isle 
that  night,  and  next  morning  the  voyagers  proceeded  up  the  stream 
again,  keeping  time  to  their  boat  song  with  the  strong  sweep  of  their 
paddles.  In  the  blazing  heat  of  the  afternoon  they  came  again  to  the 
high  terraces  on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  about  two  and  one  half 
miles  below  what  is  now  Belle  Isle.  Cadillac's  canoe  was  pointed  toward 
the  beach  and  all  the  rest  of  the  flotilla  turned  likewise,  the  men  setting 
up  a  rousing  cheer. 

The  long  voyage  was  over.  It  had  started  forty  nine  days  before,  on 
June  5,  from  La  Chine,  on  the  St.  Lawrence,  a  short  distance  above 
Montreal.  Entering  the  Ottawa  River  the  travelers  had  threaded  the 
windings  of  that  stream  for  more  than  three  hundred  leagues,  making 
upward  of  thirty  portages  Finally  the  party  reached  the  nearest 
point  to  Lake  Nippissing,  where  the  last  and  most  fatiguing  portage 
was  effected  to  that  body  of  water.  The  remainder  of  the  route  was 
down  French  River  to  Lake  Huron;  down  the  lake  to  the  head  of 
tlie  straits,  where  Duluth  in  1687  had  built  a  fort  which  was  burned 
down  two  years  later;  through  the  St.  Clair  River  and  Lake  and 
thence  on  to  the  Detroit  River,  a  land  and  water  journey  of  over  a 
thousand  miles. 

The  canoes  were  drawn  up  on  the  beach  and  the  provisions,  tools  and 
stores  taken  out;  the  latter  included  a  small  brass  cannon.  Camp  fires 
were  lighted  and  tents  pitched,  and  the  evening  meal  discussed.  The 
two  priests  led  in  a  vesper  service  of  song;  soon  the  shades  of  night 
fell  on  the  unwonted  scene,  and  the  travelers  laid  down  to  well  earned 
repose.  Next  day,  after  morning  mass  in  the  woodland,  Cadillac  made 
proclamation  that  the  land  and  the  waters  were  the  property  of  his 
majesty,  Louis  XIV.  The  building  of  log  cabins  for  the  settlers  com- 
menced and  on  the  following  day  the  work  of  erecting  a  church  was 
begun,  the  edifice  being  dedicated  to  Ste.  Anne,  for  it  was  the  day  on 
which  that  holy  woman  died.  The  commander  also  laid  out  a  quad- 
rangle for  a  fort,  which  inclosed  about  two  hundred  feet  on  each  side, 
situated  between  Griswold  street,  Jefferson  avenue,  Shelby  street  and 
the  river.  The  work  was  prosecuted  with  diligence  in  order  that  the 
fort  should  furnish  immediate  command  of  the  strait  and  the  opposite 
shore,  and  also  because  Cadillac  knew  that  the  winters  were  severe  and 
good  shelter  was  an  absolute  necessity.  The  new  settlement  was  close 
to  the  hunting  and  trapping  grounds  of  the  blood-thirsty  Iroquois,  who 
were  very  changeable  in  their  likes  and  dislikes,  and  so  numerous  that 

the  wiping  out  of  an  inadequately  protected  outpost  was  for  them  an 
easy  undertaking.  In  a  few  days  the  whole  space  of  one  arpent  square 
was  inclosed  by  a  substantial  stockade,  consisting  of  oak  pickets  fifteen 
feet  in  length  sunk  in  the  ground  to  a  depth  of  three  feet.  There  was 
a  gentle  slope  of  about  forty  paces  to  the  river  which  formed  a  very 
desirable  glacis.  The  best  authority  has  it  that  Cadillac's  fortified  vil- 
lage had  its  southeast  corner  on  the  south  side  of  Jefferson  avenue,  about 
where  the  Palms  block  now  stands.  Its  northern  wall  reached  westward 
to  a  point  about  thirty  feet  west  of  Shelby  street.  It  was  bounded  on 
the  west  by  a  line  running  south  from  the  last  named  point  to  the 
river  bank,  which  was  then  a  bluff  nearly  forty  feet  high.  The  south 
wall  ran  along  this  bluff  and  the  maps  show  that  the  stockade  was 
laid  out  on  the  cardinal  points  of  the  compass.  Inside  the  stockade 
there  was  a  clear  space  of  twelve  feet,  so  that  its  defenders  could 
quickly  assemble  at  any  threatened  point  of  danger.  The  picket  wall 
was  pierced  for  musketry  and  there  were  bastions  on  each  corner. 

And  thus  Cadillac  founded  Detroit! 

While  the  founder  of  the  city  was  threading  the  tortuous  windings 
of  the  Ottawa,  on  his  way  to  Detroit,  the  Iroquois  held  a  council  with 
the  British  authorities  of  New  York,  and  as  a  result  they  conveyed  to 
King  William  III,  of  England,  all  their  claims  to  lands  in  the  west  in- 
cluding the  Straits  of  Detroit,  which  they  called  Tjeuchsaghronde 
(Teuscha  Gronde).  This  was  done  to  exhibit  their  resentment  against 
the  claim  of  Frontenac,  the  French  governor,  who  answered  their  pro- 
test against  erecting  a  post  and  fort  on  the  Detroit  or  straits,  by  say- 
ing that  the  land  belonged  to  his  master  the  king  of  France.  The  con- 
veyance was  made  on  June  19,  1701,  five  days  before  Cadillac  landed 
at  Detroit. 

Robert  Livingstone,  an  English  trader  at  Orange  (Albany),  wanted 
his  government  to  establish  a  post  on  Detroit  River  in  1699,  and  he 
made  a  careful  report  of  the  advantages  he  had  noted  when  making  a 
trip  to  the  upper  lakes  during  the  previous  year. 


Early  Discoveries  in  North  America — Great  Britain  and  Spain  Held  the  Coast — 
France  Aimed  to  Secure  Canada,  the  Lake  Region,  the  Mississippi  River  and  the 
Unknown  West.— 1492-1701. 

In  order  to  appreciate  the  sig-nificance  of  Cadillac's  expedition  and  his 
selection  of  Detroit  as  a  landing  place,  it  is  well  to  briefly  outline  the 
trend  of  colonization  in  America.  Columbus  landed  at  San  Salvador 
in  1492,  and  took  possession  of  the  Bahama  Islands  in  the  name  of 
Spain.  In  the  course  of  his  later  voyages  he  slightly  enlarged  his 
range  of  discovery  and  the  consequent  claims  of  the  Spanish  crown. 
Within  a  few  years  other  explorations  added  Mexico,  Florida,  Louisi- 
ana, Peru,  Chili,  and  other  South  American  territory  to  Spain  by  claim 
of  discovery.  Don  Pedro  Cabral,  a  Portuguese,  laid  claim  to  Brazil. 
The  British  founded  a  settlement  at  Jamestown,  Va.,  in  1607,  which 
was  the  pioneer  colony  in  North  America.  The  French,  under  Cham- 
plain,  founded  Quebec  in  1608;  and  the  third  colony,  Manhattan  Island 
(New  York),  was  settled  by  the  Dutch  in  1610,  having  been  discovered 
by  Hendrick  Hudson  the  previous  year.  English  Puritans  founded  the 
Massachusetts  colony  in  1620,  while  the  British  government  laid  claim 
to  the  entire  coast  north  of  the  Florida  line  to  the  St.  Lawrence,  by 
virtue  of  the  discoveries  of  John  and  Sebastian  Cabot,  who  made  land- 
ings at  various  places  between  Greenland  and  the  South  Atlantic  coast. 
The  fever  of  adventure  and  exploration  possessed  F'rance,  Spain,  Portu- 
gal, England  and  Holland.  While  the  Cabots  were  discovering  Lab- 
rador and  Newfoundland,  Vasco  De  Gama,  a  Portuguese  navigator, 
skirted  the  coast  of  Africa,  rounded  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope  and  reached 
the  East  Indies,  then  the  goal  of  all  sea  explorations  at  that  time. 
Gasper  Cortereal  followed  the  Cabots  to  Labrador  and  Newfoundland. 
Italy,  which  did  less  exploring  than  any  of  the  other  nations,  sent  out 
Amerigo  Vespucci  to  America  in  1499 ;  he  discovered  nothing  which  had 
not  been  discovered  before  his  arrival,  but  by  a  strange  irony  of  fate 
this  most  inferior  navigator  who  had  yet  crossed  the  Atlantic  gave  his 
name  to  a  continent  four  times  larger  than  Europe  and  the  new  world 

was  thereafter  known  as  America.  While  these  explorations  were  pro- 
gressing in  the  north,  Ferdinand  de  Soto,  the  Spanish  explorer,  was 
making  a  brilliant  page  in  the  history  of  America.  In  1519  he  accom- 
panied Davila  to  Darien,  where  the  latter  was  governor.  De  Soto  ex- 
plored the  coast  of  South  America;  joined  Pizarro  in  his  conquest  of 
Peru;  wrested  Florida  from  the  Indians  in  1540;  located  a  line  of  forts 
reaching  from  Florida  to  the  Mississippi,  which  he  discovered  at  a 
point  not  far  from  the  borders  of  Tennessee.  He  died  of  swamp  fever 
on  its  banks  in  April,  1541,  and  was  buried  in  a  weighted  canoe  in  the 
middle  of  the  great  river  in  order  that  the  savages  might  not  mutilate 
his  body. 

In  spite  of  the  sweeping  claims  of  the  English,  and  their  evident  in- 
tention to  crowd  out  all  other  claimants,  the  French  were  determined 
to  have  a  liberal  slice  of  the  territory  of  the  new  world.  In  1506 
Denis  de  Honfleur,  a  French  navigator,  entered  the  Gulf  of  St.  Law- 
rence, and  twelve  years  later  Baron  De  Lery  established  a  convict 
colony  on  the  barren  sands  of  Sable  Island,  off  the  coast  of  Nova  Scotia, 
This  was  presently  abandoned  on  account  of  the  severity  of  the  climate, 
and  then  John  Verrazano  made  a  superficial  examination  of  the  coast 
south  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  and  claimed  the  whole  territory  for  Francis 
I  of  Frarce.  So  far  the  French  explorations  were  unfruitful,  be- 
cause the  discoverers  found  that  they  had  been  preceded  by  navigators 
of  other  nations,  Jacques  Cartier  visited  the  coast  of  Newfoundland 
in  1534,  and  on  his  second  voyage  he  sailed  up  the  St.  Lawrence  to  the 
St.  Charles  River,  near  where  Quebec  was  subsequently  founded.  He 
traded  with  the  Indians  and  explored  the  region  about  the  river,  but 
finding  no  spices  or  precious  metals  he  went  back  to  France  with  dis- 
couraging reports  of  the  new  country. 

Although  the  ardor  of  the  French  was  dampened,  Cartier  returned 
in  1540  and  visited  what  were  to  be  the  future  sites  of  the  cities  of 
Quebec  and  Montreal,  the  latter  being  at  that  time  the  Indian  village 
of  Hochelaga.  He  built  a  small  fort  on  the  St.  Charles,  and  then 
French  enterprise  slumbered  for  half  a  century.  In  1598  the  Mar- 
quis de  la  Roche  added  another  failure  to  the  long  list  of  explora- 
tions made  by  his  countrymen,  but  a  more  competent  explorer  was 
ready  to  carry  the  flag  of  France  across  the  Atlantic,  and  plant  it  where 
it  should  wave  for  more  than  half  a  century.  Henry  IV  had  a  rather 
poor  opinion  of  the  new  world,  but  he  granted  the  request  of  M.  de 
Chastes,   governor  of   Dieppe,   to  found    settlements  in  the  St.   Law- 

rence  region.  De  Chastes  sent  an  able  substitute  in  Samuel  Cham- 
plain,  of  Saintonge,  who  sailed  from  Honfleur,  March  15,  1603,  accom- 
panied by  M.  Pont-Grave,  a  sailor  of  St.  Malo.  After  three  voyages 
and  nearly  five  years  of  exploration,  Champlain  in  1608  founded  Que- 
bec at  the  narrows  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  because  the  place  offered 
unusual  advantages  for  military  defense.  He  organized  a  settlement 
and  took  sides  with  the  Algonquins  against  the  Iroquois;  discovered 
Lake  Champlain,  the  majestic  sheet  of  water  which  bears  his  name, 
and  explored  the  valley  of  the  Ottawa,  which  was  the  first  highway  of 
his  countrymen  to  the  great  lakes.  He  reached  Lake  Huron,  em- 
barked on  its  waters  and  after  reaching  the  foot  of  the  lake,  made  his 
way  back  to  the  St.  Lawrence.  As  to  Champlain's  route  on  his  return 
from  Lake  Huron  to  the  St  Lawrence,  there  is  no  reliable  account. 
Having  made  his  journey  to  the  foot  of  Lake  Huron  over  the  route 
traversed  by  Cadillac  ninety  years  later,  it  would  appear  that  he  would 
very  naturally  have  entered  the  St.  Clair  River,  traversed  Lake  St, 
Clair,  and  passing  down  Detroit  River  would  have  made  his  return  to 
the  east  by  Lake  Erie.  Then  by  a  portage  around  Niagara  Falls  he 
could  have  reached  Lake  Ontario  and  eventually  arrived  at  the  future 
site  of  Fort  Frontenac,  which  was  established  on  the  site  of  Kingston, 
Ont.  It  is  a  plausible  theory,  because  he  was  a  man  who  appreciated 
the  value  of  water  communication,  which  was  the  only  means  of  trans- 
portation except  the  backs  of  the  coureitrs  de  bois.  The  light  birch 
canoes  could  be  propelled  swiftly  along  with  a  considerable  load  of 
furs  or  merchandise  In  the  trackless  wilderness  no  pedestrian,  except 
a  trained  Indian  runner,  could  equal  them  as  a  means  of  communica- 
tion, and  they  were  beyond  competition  as  carriers  for  the  early  com- 
merce of  New  France  In  spite  of  this  reasonable  conclusion  and  the 
subsequent  claims  of  Governor  Denonville  in  support  of  it,  there  is  no 
evidence  to  prove  the  discovery.  Champlain  was  spying  out  the  new 
country  for  the  purpose  of  making  France  the  mistress  of  the  north- 
western region,  which  as  yet  was  open  to  the  undisputed  claim  of  the 
French  crown.  Having  such  a  purpose  in  view  he  would  naturally 
have  made  a  careful  report  of  the  most  desirable  route  for  reaching 
the  upper  lake  region.  He  could  hardly  have  failed  to  appreciate  the 
beauty  of  the  straits  and  their  importance  to  future  commerce,  and 
among  his  papers  describing  his  discoveries  some  reference  should 
have  been  found  in  regard  to  the  two  rivers.  Lake  St.  Clair,  and  of  his 
voyage  on  Lake  Erie.     Thus  theory  and  reason  would  apparently  have 

led  the  explorer  to  follow  the  outlet  of  Lake  Hiiron  as  far  as  possible, 
upon  the  supposition  that  he  had  reached  the  head  waters  of  the  St. 
Lawrence  River;  but  had  he  done  so  he  would  naturally  have  made  an 
enthusiastic  report  of  his  discoveries. 

The  establishment  of  the  colony  of  New  France  was  due  principally 
to  the  efforts  of  Champlain.  In  1620  the  new  world  was  made  up  of 
New  France  (of  which  Acadia,  afterward  Nova  Scotia,  was  a  portion), 
Newfoundland,  New  England,  New  Spain,  New  Brunswick  and  Nieu 
Nederlands.  Champlain  was  governor  of  New  France  from  1612  to 
1629,  and  again  from  1633  to  1635,  and  died  in  the  latter  year  at  Que- 
bec. In  1628  France  and  England  were  at  war.  Charles  I  of  England 
gave  Sir  David  Kirke,  a  French  refugee,  a  commission  for  an  expedi- 
tion against  Canada.  He  appeared  before  Quebec  that  summer  with  a 
small  fleet  and  demanded  a  surrender.  Champlain  made  a  show  of 
great  strength  by  cunning  deception,  and  Kirke  abandoned  the  siege. 
In  1629  he  came  again,  and  Champlain  being  in  desperate  straits  from 
lack  of  provisions,  clothing  and  ammunition,  was  compelled  to  sur- 
render all  Canada  to  England.  Champlain  went  to  England  a  prisoner, 
but  was  released.  The  treaty  of  St  Germain  en  Laye  restored  Canada 
to  the  French  in  1632,  and  Champlain  set  out  the  next  spring  with  three 
ships  and  once  more  took  command  at  Quebec.  He  began  his  ex- 
plorations when  he  was  thirty-three  years  of  age  and  was  one  of  the 
most  energetic  as  well  as  the  most  pious  of  explorers.  He  regarded 
the  Indians  with  due  respect,  and  he  believed  the  first  duty  of  the  state 
was  to  convert  them  to  Christianity.  He  was  so  strict  in  his  integrity 
that  he  never  engaged  in  the  fur  trade,  which  offered  great  profit.  It 
was  his  ambition  to  make  New  France  a  thriving  agricultural  country, 
instead  of  a  trading  territory  for  amassing  riches,  and  as  far  as  he  was 
able  he  filled  the  settlements  with  farmers  and  artisans,  to  whom  seeds 
and  tools  were  provided.  But  he  was  greatly  hampered  by  the  com- 
mercial companies  who  sought  to  make  fortunes  quickly.  The  De 
Caens,  uncle  and  nephew,  who  were  granted  a  monopoly  of  the  trade 
of  the  colony,  were  turbulent  and  headstrong  in  their  opposition  to  Cham- 
plain's  plans,  and  acted  as  though  the  savages  were  the  legitimate  prey 
of  the  traders.  Champlain  saw  their  conduct  was  unbearable,  and  to 
get  rid  of  them  he  went  back  to  France.  As  he  expected,  the  settle- 
ment' became  too  hot  for  the  De  Caens  during  his  absence,  and  they 
had  to  leave.  At  Lake  Champlain,  in  the  combined  attacks  of  the  Al- 
gonquins  and  Hurons  upon  the  Iroquois,  Champlain   fired  his  ancient 

arquebus  with  deadly  effect,  and  the  sound  of  this  firearm  struck  ter- 
ror to  the  Iroquois,  as  they  believed  the  weapon  to  be  endowed  with 
supernatural  qualities. 

Contemporaneous  with  the  explorations  by  agents  of  the  government 
were  the  labors  of  the  Jesuit  missionaries.  Their  heroic  work  of  evan- 
gelization among  the  savage  tribes,  penetrating  to  the  remotest  parts 
of  the  wilderness,  and  carrying  the  cross  wherever  human  beings  could 
be  found,  makes  a  story  as  fascinating  as  the  most  thrilling  of  ro- 
mances. In  September,  1641,  Raymbault  came  to  the  Falls  of  St. 
Mary,  or  Sault  Ste.  Marie,  being  the  first  Jesuit  missionary  who  visited 
that  field,  and  the  first  among  the  Indian  tribes  of  Michigan.  Next 
came  Fathers  Jacques  and  Bressani,  Jean  de  Breboeuf,  Chaumonot, 
Claude  Dablon,  Mesnard,  and  others.  In  1660  Mesnard,  an  aged  priest, 
reached  a  bay  on  the  south  shore  of  Lake  Superior,  where  he  estab- 
lished-a  mission  and  called  it  St.  Theresa;  the  year  following  he  ad- 
vanced to  the  bay  of  Che-goi-me-gon.  He  was  lost  in  the  forest  and 
never  seen  again,  but  among  the  amulets  of  the  Sioux  were  discovered 
his  breviary  and  cassock.  Another  French  Jesuit  was  Father  Claude 
Allouez,  who  founded  the  Holy  Spirit  Mission  at  the  bay  of  Che-goi- 
me-gon,  on  the  south  shore  of  Lake  Superior  in  1665;  also  one  ac  Green 
Bay;  and  also  explored  portions  of  Wisconsin  and  Illinois.  M.  Louis 
Joliet  was  the  first  explorer  who  passed  up  Detroit  River  and  left  a 
clear  record  of  the  trip.  He  made  a  trip  from  La  Chine,  above  Mont- 
real, to  Niagara  in  July,  1669,  and  after  visiting  several  Indian  villages 
of  the  Senecas  in  that  vicinty,  he  set  out  with  three  canoes  and  a  com- 
pany of  seven  men  for  a  voyage  of  discovery.  In  his  party  were 
Fathers  Galinee  and  Dollier,  two  priests  of  St.  Sulpice ;  they  made  the 
trip  in  safety  and  passed  up  the  Detroit  River  to  Lake  St.  Clair  early 
in  1 670.  Reports  of  their  discoveries  are  but  meager,  but  in  the  pre- 
served correspondence  of  Father  Gallinee  there  is  an  account  of  their 
discovery  of  an  idol  on  the  banks  of  the  Detroit  River,  about  six 
leagues  from  Lake  Erie,  at  or  near  the  site  of  the  city  of  Detroit.  It 
was  a  carved  stone  image,  which  the  Indians  undertook  to  propitiate 
by  offerings,  as  it  was  supposed  to  exercise  some  influence  over  Lake 
Erie.  The  pious  fathers  fell  upon  it  with  great  zeal  and  destroyed  it 
at  the  expense  of  their  hatchets,  subsequently  scattering  the  fragments 
in  the  river.  Their  pious  zeal  destroyed  what  would  have  proved  a 
most  interesting  relic  for  the  Detroit  museum.  A  stone  idol  in  this 
part  of  the  country  would  appear  to  be  a  relic  of  a  race  much  older  than 


the  Indians  who  occupied  the  territory  when  the  French  arrived — a  race 
whose  relics  are  rare  and  highly  esteemed  by  archaeologists.  They 
prepared  the  following  certificate  of  discovery  while  on  this  trip  and  it 
was  filed  in  the  archives  of  state  at  Quebec, 

"We  the  undersigned,  certify  that  we  have  seen  the  arms  of  the  king  of  France 
set  up  on  the  lands  of  the  lake  called  Erie,  at  the  foot  of  a  cross  with  this  inscription: 
'  The  year  of  salvation  1669,  Clement  IX  being  seated  in  the  chair  of  St  Peter,  Louis 
XIV  reignmg  in  France,  Monsieur  de  Courcelles  being  governor  of  New  France,  and 
Monsieur  Talon  being  intendant  for  the  king,  two  missionaries  from  the  seminary 
of  Montreal  having  arrived  at  this  place,  accompanied  by  seven  other  Frenchmen, 
who,  the  first  of  all  the  European  nations,  have  witnessed  on  this  lake,  of  which  they 
have  taken  possession  in  the  name  of  their  king  as  an  unoccupied  land,  by  setting  up 
his  arms  which  they  have  affixed  at  the  foot  of  this  cross.  In  witness  whereof  we 
have  signed  the  present  certificate: 

"  Francois  Dollier,  priest  for  the  diocese  of  Nantes  in  Britanny; 

"  De  Galinee,  deacon  of  the  diocese  in  Rennes  in  Britanny.'  " 

Father  Marquette,  another  Jesuit  missionary  and  explorer,  was  born 
of  an  illustrious  French  family  in  1637,  came  to  Quebec  in  1666,  and 
there  became  an  Indian  missionary.  He  learned  and  spoke  the  language 
of  the  three  great  confederacies — Algonquins,  Hurons  and  Iroquois, 
and  was  esteemed  the  greatest  of  the  Indian  missionaries.  In  1668  he 
established  a  mission  at  St.  Ignace  and  preached  the  gospel  to  2,000 
Indians.  In  1673,  at  the  request  of  Governor  Frontenac,  he  and  Joliet 
began  their  wonderful  exploration  of  the  Mississippi,  going  within  ten 
days'  journey  of  its  mouth,  and  ascertaining  that  this  stream  flowed 
into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  Marquette  also  did  much  missionary  work  at 
Green  Bay  and  visited  the  Chicago  River  as  early  as  1674.  On  May 
27,  1765,  he  died  while  traveling  toward  Green  Bay,  from  the  country 
of  the  Miamis,  and  was  buried  in  a  sand  dune  near  the  present  site  of 
Ludington,  Mich.,  but  subsequently  his  body  was  removed  by  faithful 
Indians  to  the  mission  at  St.  Ignace,  where  it  was  buried  under  the 

Records  of  early  days  in  New  France,  and  particularly  those  relating 
to  voyages  of  discovery,  are  but  fragmentary,  and  in  many  cases  there 
is  nothing  but  correspondence  of  officials,  who  had  no  active  part  in  the 
discoveries,  to  inform  the  later  generations  regarding  the  first  visits  of 
the  white  man  to  portions  of  the  Northwest.  One  reason  for  this  is 
that  the  explorers  had  to  traverse  dangerous  waters  where  they  fre- 
quently were  fortunate  in  escaping  with  their  lives,  and  many  papers 
and  journals  were  thus  lost  to   the  world.     There  are  vague   reports 


concerning  a  trip  of  unknown  voyageurs  from  the  St.  Lawrence  River 
to  Lake  Huron  and  Mackinac,  by  way  of  Lake  Erie,  as  early  as  1659, 
but  the  names  of  the  travelers  are  unknown  and  the  report  Is  not  au- 
thentic. It  is  generally  supposed  that  previous  to  the  time  of  Joliet's 
voyage  cojcreurs  de  bois  had  visited  Detroit,  but  they  were  usually  illit- 
erate fellows  who  were  unable  to  leave  a  written  record  of  their  doings. 


The  Great  Explorers — Robert  Cavalier  de  La  Salle — The  Cruise  of  Le  Griffon — 
Father  Hennepin  Visits  the  Upper  Mississippi — Daniel  Grisolon  Duluth  Builds  a 
Fort  at  the  Foot  of  Lake  Huron— 1669-1700. 

Robert  Cavalier  de  La  Salle,  a  native  of  Normandie,  and  a  fur  trader, 
was  ever  ambitious  to  extend  the  commercial  supremacy  of  France. 
After  various  explorations  and  a  visit  to  France,  he  built  the  "Griffon," 
a  ship  of  sixty  tons,  hewn  out  of  green  logs,  on  the  shore  of  the  Ni- 
agara River,  at  the  mouth  of  Cayuga  Creek,  above  the  great  cataract. 
La  Salle  was  an  ideal  explorer.  He  had  the  genius  for  discovery,  and 
went  to  his  destination  by  what  he  believed  to  be  the  most  direct  route, 
regardless  of  obstacles.  For  years  the  early  explorers  had  made  their 
way  to  the  great  lakes  by  the  Ottawa  River  route,  because  the  Indians 
of  Canada  and  those  south  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  lakes,  were  al- 
most constantly  at  war.  The  north  shore  of  Lake  Erie  was  avoided 
by  the  early  voyageurs  because  it  was  frequently  overrun  by  Indian 
scalp  hunters  from  the  Ohio  region.  Detroit  was  imdoubtedly  an  im- 
portant Indian  rendezvous,  being  a  beaver  region,  but  there  is  no  au- 
thentic record  of  any  attempt  to  establish  a  trading  post  south  of  the 
foot  of  Lake  Huron  in  the  seventeenth  century.  La  Salle  with  his 
small  company  of  followers  started  out  from  Fort  Frontenac  resolved 
to  solve  the  riddle  of  the  great  lakes.  He  no  doubt  believed  that  not 
only  were  they  all  connected  together,  but  that  they  also  communicated 
with  the  Pacific  Ocean,  and  his  first  chosen  task  was  to  explore  the  un- 
known waters  of  Lake  Erie  in  spite  of  the  dangers  which  lay  before 
him.  He  began  felling  timber  on  the  banks  of  Cayuga  Creek,  where 
it  empties  into  Niagara  River.      The  Seneca  Indians  in  that  vicinity 


showed  some  hostility  against  these  operations,  and  to  av^oid  a  collision 
La  Salle  sent  Sieur  de  La  Motte,  Father  Hennepin,  an  interpreter  named 
Brassart,  and  three  voyageurs,  to  Tagarondies,  the  capital  of  the  Sen- 
eca nation,  which  is  located  near  the  present  town  of  Victor,  Ontario 
county,  N.Y.  The  distance,  nearly  a  hundred  miles,  was  traversed  on 
snow  shoes.  The  Indians  said  they  would  oppose  a  French  settlement 
at  Cayuga  Greek,  but  would  not  prevent  the  building  of  the  vessel, 
provided  it  went  away  and  did  not  return.  The  work  of  building  a 
vessel  of  sixty  tons  capacity  was  steadily  prosecuted,  and  it  was 
launched  in  April,  1679.  The  Griffon,  or  Le  Griffon,  named  after  the 
heraldic  figure  of  La  Salle's  coat  of  arms,  then  set  sail  for  the  upper 
lakes,  with  La  Salle,  Henry  Tonty,  an  Italian  soldier  of  fortune, 
Louis  Hennepin,  the  fearless  Franciscan  friar,  and  Fathers  Zenobe 
and  Riboirdier  on  board.  They  left  on  August  7,  leaving  Father 
Melethon  in  charge  of  stores  at  Niagara,  and  after  coasting  along  the 
north  shore  of  the  lake  turned  up  the  Detroit  River.  The  Griffon 
reached  Lake  St.  Clair  August  12,  which  according  to  the  church  cal- 
endar is  Ste.  Claire's  day,  and  in  honor  of  that  pious  maiden  the  ex- 
plorer named  the  lake.  Some  writers  and  geographers,  including 
Judge  A.  B.  Woodward,  have  stated  that  the  river  which  bears  this 
name  derived  its  title  from  Capt.  Patrick  Sinclair,  an  English  officer 
who  built  a  fort  where  Pine  River  flows  into  it,  at  the  site  of  the  pres- 
ent city  of  St.  Clair.  Some  of  the  geographers  have  also  made  the 
mistake  of  naming  the  river  Sinclair  in  their  maps.  They  were  thir- 
teen days  reaching  Lake  Huron;  they  called  at  Mackinac  Island;  and  at 
the  end  of  twenty-six  days  they  landed  on  the  shores  of  Green  Bay. 
Thus  it  happened  that  the  Griffon  with  her  crew  of  thirty  four  men, 
was  the  first  vessel  to  sail  the  western  lakes,  and  was  the  forerunner  of 
the  splendid  fleet  which  now  carries  the  commerce  of  an  empire  every 
year.  There  was,  previously,  at  least  one  vessel  on  Lake  Ontario,  but 
the  Griffon  v^^as  the  first  that  showed  the  way  of  commerce  through  the 
chain  of  the  great  lakes;  and  it  also  furnished  the  first  marine  tragedy. 
La  Salle's  long  absence  from  Montreal  and  the  dangerous  reputation  of 
the  country  into  which  he  had  plunged,  convinced  his  friends  and  his 
creditors  that  he  had  been  lost  in  the  wilderness.  While  they  had  be- 
gun to  divide  up  his  personal  property  among  themselves,  La  Salle  was 
loading  the  Griffon  with  furs  and  peltry  at  Green  Bay.  The  vessel 
sailed  away  with  her  cargo  in  charge  of  a  crew  of  six  men,  intend- 
ing to  land  at  the  launching  place  on  Niagara  River  and  forward  the 


cargo  to  Montreal.  The  bold  explorer  and  his  companions  stood  on 
the  beach  of  Lake  Michigan  and  watched  her  tiny  sail  melt  away  in 
the  distance.  From  that  hour  no  tidings  were  obtained  of  the  missing 
bark,  its  crew  or  its  valuable  freight.  She  is  supposed  to  have  foun- 
dered in  a  September  gale  while  crossing  Lake  Michigan,  as  she  never 
reached  Mackinac  Island. 

As  soon  as  the  Griffon  had  departed  with  her  cargo,  which  represented 
all  the  fortune  of  the  explorer,  his  restless  spirit  urged  him  forward  to 
new  discoveries.  He  set  out  southward  in  canoes  and  followed  the  shore 
of  Lake  Michigan  to  the  mouth  of  the  Chicago  River;  at  length  he 
reached  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Joseph  River,  where  Father  Allouez  had 
founded  a  small  mission  among  the  Miamis.  There  he  built  Fort 
Miami  and  waited  in  vain  for  the  return  of  his  ship.  Again  his  spirit 
rebelled  at  inaction  and  he  pressed  on  with  his  little  company,  follow- 
ing the  river  into  the  Kankakee  marshes,  and  finally  by  portage  reach- 
ing the  Illinois  River.  Down  this  stream  they  came  upon  a  deserted 
Indian  village,  and  found  stores  of  corn  buried  under  the  wigwams. 
Loading  some  of  this  food  supply  into  their  canoes  they  proceeded  to 
Lake  Peoria,  an  enlargement  of  the  Illinois  River.  There  they  came 
upon  a  friendly  party  of  Illinois  Indians  and  erected  another  fort.  It 
was  evident  that  the  ship  Griffon  had  met  with  some  mishap.  Winter 
was  at  hand  and  the  handful  of  explorers  were  in  a  far  wilderness  with- 
out supplies.  In  token  of  his  discouraging  position  La  Salle  named 
the  fort  Creve  Coeur,  or  "  Broken  Heart."  Even  the  desperate  straits 
which  befell  this  expedition  did  not  crush  La  Salle.  Making  his  fol- 
lowers as  comfortable  as  possible  at  Creve  Coeur  he  set  out  with  three 
companions  to  make  the  way  back  to  Fort  Frontenac  on  foot.  It  was 
early  in  March ;  snow  covered  the  ground ;  hungry  wolves  lurked  in 
the  trackless  forests;  there  were  rivers  to  cross  and  vast  swamps  to 
tread — but  the  three  men  with  no  other  food  than  the  chase  afforded 
them  made  the  journey  of  1,200  miles  in  safety.  Arrived  at  Fort 
Frontenac,  La  Salle  learned  that  his  friends  and  agents,  supposing  him 
to  be  dead,  had  administered  his  estate  by  dividing  among  themselves 
what  his  creditors  had  not  seized.  He  set  out  again  for  Creve  Coeur 
with  abundant  stores,  but  on  arriving  there  found  that  the  Iroquois 
had  made  a  raid  against  the  place,  and  after  Tonty  and  his  followers 
had  abandoned  it  to  avoid  a  battle,  burned  it  to  the  ground.  It  took 
some  time  to  collect  his  scattered  followers  from  the  wilderness.  That 
fall  and  winter  of  1681  was  spent  in  preparing  for  an  expedition  down 


the  Mississippi.  Making  an  early  start  he  arrived  at  the  mouth  of  the 
river  in  April,  where  he  set  up  a  wooden  cross  with  an  inscription 
claiming  the  country  for  Louis  XIV. 

While  La  Salle  was  on  his  way  to  Frontenac,  Father  Hennepin,  ac- 
companied by  Anthony  Auguells  and  Michael  Ako,  boatmen,  started 
to  explore  the  head  waters  of  the  Mississippi,  but  were  soon  captured 
by  a  war  party  of  Indians.  They  were  taken  up  the  river  as  far  as  St. 
Anthony's  Falls,  which  were  named  by  Father  Hennepin.  Leaving 
their  canoes  at  the  future  site  of  Minneapolis,  the  Indians  took  their 
captives  up  the  St.  Francis  River  far  into  the  northern  wilderness  near 
the  head  of  Lake  Superior.  While  they  were  captives  in  this  territory 
Duluth,  accompanied  by  five  French  voyageurs,  arrived  at  the  village 
and  Father  Hennepin  and  his  two  companions  returned  with  them  to 
Montreal,  making  a  journey  of  about  2,500  miles.  They  were  six 
months  in  the  hands  of  their  captors. 

La  Salle  returned  to  France  with  glowing  reports  of  his  discoveries, 
for  like  most  other  enthusiasts  he  had  a  vivid  imagination  with  which 
to  embellish  his  facts.  Louis  XIV  commissioned  him  with  the  duty  of 
building  outposts  along  the  Mississippi  reaching  northward  so  as  to 
hold  the  connection  of  the  great  valley  with  the  lake  region.  La  Salle 
set  out,  filled  with  renewed  enthusiasm.  Three  vessels  and  a  force  of 
280  men  departed  from  Rochefort  to  be  guided  by  La  Salle  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  but  from  the  very  beginning  of  the  enter- 
prise there  was  trouble  between  the  explorer  and  the  senior  captain  of 
the  expedition,  M.  Beaujeu.  Beaujeu  was  jealous  of  the  leader  and 
either  through  treachery,  or  misfortune,  the  little  squadron  failed  to 
find  the  mouth  of  the  great  river.  A  norther  came  on  and  Beaujeu 
refused  to  obey  La  Salle's  instruction  to  work  back  along  the  northern 
coast  of  the  gulf.  He  proceeded  to  the  Bay  of  Matagorda,  on  the  coast 
of  Texas,  and  put  the  explorer  ashore  with  230  followers.  In  the 
heavy  sea  that  was  running  most  of  the  supplies  of  the  colonists  were 
lost  in  landing,  and  the  ships  sailed  away,  leaving  them  in  an  unknown 
and  desolate  country  almost  without  resources.  La  Salle  attempted  to 
lead  his  followers  by  land  to  find  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  but  the 
vast  swamps  and  the  intricate  network  of  bayous  proved  most  confus- 
ing. Swamp  fever  rapidly  thinned  their  ranks.  Then  an  attempt  was 
made  to  find  the  river  by  the  use  of  canoes.  This  too  failed,  and  after 
traversing  innumerable  bayous,  each  of  which  promised  to  be  the 
river,  the  expedition  turned  westward  across  the  plains  of  Texas  hoping 


to  find  g-old  In  a  short  time  the  230  men  were  reduced  to  thirty- 
seven.  Failing-  to  enforce  discipline  by  gentleness  and  entreaty,  La 
Salle  began  to  use  harsh  measures,  and  the  company  was  soon  in  a 
state  of  mutiny.  Finally  he  set  out  from  the  valley  of  the  Colorado 
River,  accompanied  by  his  nephew,  Moranget,  and  fifteen  men,  with 
the  purpose  of  reaching  Canada.  Two  of  the  men,  L'Archeveque  and 
Diihaut,  quarreled  with  Moranget.  While  the  latter  lay  asleep  Litot, 
the  surgeon  of  the  party,  cleft  his  skull  with  an  axe,  after  which  several 
of  his  followers  were  also  killed  as  they  slept.  For  fear  of  being  called 
to  account  for  their  crime,  one  of  them  shot  La  Salle  dead.  Such  was 
the  end  of  the  greatest  explorer  sent  out  by  France  to  search  out  the 
new  world.  His  intelligent  reasoning,  his  boldness  of  movement,  his 
ingenuity  and  invincible  courage  in  surmounting  difficulties  in  the  face 
of  stupendous  obstacles,  stamp  him  as  one  of  the  greatest  figures  in 
American  history.  It  was  to  La  Salle  and  Champlain  that  France 
owed  her  possessions  in  America.  Robert  Cavalier  de  La  Salle  was  a 
Norman  with  all  the  characteristics  of  that  people.  He  was  large  of 
frame,  restless  in  disposition  and  tormented  by  strong^  passions.  Ad- 
mitted to  the  Jesuit  novitiate  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  he  spent  two  years 
under  the  discipline  of  Father  Mouret,  but  after  his  novitiate  and  during 
his  probationary  period  his  restless  disposition  proved  unconquerable. 
He  went  from  place  to  place  carrying  on  his  studies  and  teaching.  His 
passions  frequently  led  him  into  unseemly  conduct.  He  pined  for  the 
career  of  an  adventurer,  and  on  being  refused  permission  to  go  to 
Portugal  he  asked  to  be  released  from  his  vows.  After  eight  years  of 
life  in  the  order  he  was  dismissed  at  his  own  request.  His  character 
has  been  carefully  portrayed  by  Father  Camille  Rochementiex,  who 
pictures  him  as  a  man  of  superb  gifts  of  mind  and  body;  a  profound 
scholar,  skilled  in  the  arts  and  sciences,  but  restless,  taciturn  and  mo- 
rose under  restraint.  When  he  came  into  a  commanding  position, 
such  as  his  talents  merited,  his  uncurbed  passions,  and  despotic  dispo- 
sition cost  him  the  friendship  of  his  followers,  and  were  indirectly  the 
cause  of  his  untimely  end  at  the  age  of  forty-three  years. 

Of  the  Jesuits,  who  sometimes  conducted  expeditions  themselves,  and 
who  almost  invariably  accompanied  the  expeditions  of  the  French,  it 
may  be  said  that  they  were  loyal  soldiers  of  the  cross  whose  holy  ardor 
neither  heat  nor  cold  could  diminish,  hunger  or  torture  daunt,  or  fear 
of  death  divert  from  their  sacred  purpose.  Their  vows  of  chastity, 
poverty  and  obedience,  were  rigorously  observed  and  their  self  sacrific- 



ing  devotion  to  God  and  the  cause  of  religion  made  them   the  greatest 
heroes  of  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries. 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  explorers  of  various  nations  had  practically 
closed  up  the  Atlantic  coast  with  their  claims.  England,  Holland  and 
Spain  held  the  ocean  front,  and  the  latter  country  had  rounded  into  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  started  up  the  Mississippi,  besides  penetrating  to 
Sante  Fe,  New  Mexico,  and  over  to  the  Pacific  coast.  France  had  entered  a 
wedge  of  territory  at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  scheme  of 
the  government  was  to  claim  the  region  of  Canada,  the  great  lakes,  the 
Mississippi  and  Ohio  valleys,  and  all  territory  which  might  be  discov- 
ered to  the  westward.  Quebec  and  Montreal  were  the  strongholds  at 
the  head  of  river  navigation  and  from  that  point  the  claim  of  France 
was  to  be  supported  by  a  chain  of  forts;  Fort  Frontenac  commanded 
the  foot  of  Lake  Ontario,  the  fort  at  Michilimackinac  was  their  station 
for  the  upper  lakes.  Duluth  built  a  fort,  in  1687,  at  the  foot  of  Lake 
Huron,  on  the  west  side,  where  the  upper  portion  of  the  city  of  Port 
Huron,  Mich.,  is  now  situated.  It  was  first  called  Fort  Detroit,  but 
was  more  generally  styled  Fort  St.  Joseph.  The  English  and  Iroquois 
were  about  to  move  against  it  in  great  force  in  1689,  when  Hontan 
burned  it  rather  than  have  it  fall  into  their  hands.  It  then  became 
apparent  to  the  French  that  their  chain  of  forts  must  be  extended  not 
only  through  the  Mississippi  valley  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  but  that  the 
wonderful  straits  described  by  La  Salle  must  be  fortified  to  protect  their 
fur  trade  from  the  aggressions  of  the  English  and  the  Iroquois.  All 
the  traffic  of  the  lakes  and  their  tributaries  must  come  through  these 
straits,  the  rivers  Detroit  and  St.  Clair,  and  a  strong  fort,  planted  in  a 
commanding  position,  would  keep  the  great  seas  of  sweet  water  for 
France.  Cadillac,  the  shrewd  and  doughty  Gascon,  who  was  one  of 
the  originators  of  this  scheme,  was  chosen  for  that  service,  and  the 
forging  of  the  most  important  link  in  the  chain  of  colonization  was  en- 
trusted to  his  hands.  The  upbuilding  of  this  splendid  scheme  of  con- 
quest and  colonization  was  ably  planned  and  faithfully  executed,  so 
that  finally  the  interior  of  the  country  from  Quebec  to  the  headwaters 
of  the  Mississippi,  and  from  thence  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  belonged  to 

Through  the  neglect  of  the  home  government  to  provide  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  colonies,  the  settlements  languished  as  mere  trad- 
ing posts  until  the  English  soldiers  and  American  colonists  closed  the 
door  upon  the  French  by  capturing  their  stronghold  on  the  St.  Law- 
rence in  1759. 


Among  the  heroic  figures  of  French  colonial  days  was  Daniel  Gris 
olon  (or  Duluth,  as  he  is  known),  who  deserves  more  than  passing 
mention.  His  name  appears  in  the  old  manuscripts  as  Du  Lhu  or  Du 
Lhut,  and  the  records  show  that  he  was  one  of  the  chief  instruments  in 
opening  up  the  great  west  to  the  fur  trade.  He  was  born  near  Lyons, 
France,  about  1645,  and  like  other  Frenchmen  who  came  to  the  new 
world  his  family  name  was  almost  forgotten,  and  he  was  known  by  the 
place  of  his  nativity.  Duluth  was  the  friend  and  companion  of  La 
Salle  and  the  elder  Tonty,  and  after  making  one  trip  with  them  he 
turned  to  the  far  north  for  individual  exploration.  His  headquarters 
were  established  at  Mackinaw,  in  the  earliest  days  of  that  settlement, 
and  he  was  the  agent  among  the  Indians  of  the  Northwest,  inducing 
them  to  be  friendly  with  the  Frenchmen  and  to  bring  their  furs  to 
Mackinaw  for  trade.  He  was  next  to  Commandant  Durantaye  in  au- 
thority and  his  associates  were  M.  de  la  Forest,  De  Lusigny  and  Gris- 
olon  de  la  Tourette,  his  brother.  Frontenac  trusted  his  judgment  in 
important  matters,  and  the  friendship  between  them  aroused  the  jeal- 
ousy of  the  Intendant  Duchesnau,  who  feared  Duluth's  influence.  The 
intendant  declared  Duluth  to  be  a  dangerous  man  to  the  crown,  as  he 
had  more  than  500  men  in  the  upper  country  who  acknowledged  him 
as  their  commander  and  would  follow  wherever  he  might  lead.  He 
was  certainly  the  leader  of  the  courenrs  de  bois  in  the  Northwest.  At 
Thunder  Bay,  op  the  north  shore  of  Lake  Superior,  he  built  a  fort 
near  the  site  of  the  present  Fort  William,  in  1677.  In  1678  he  went  to 
the  headwaters  of  the  Mississippi.  In  1679  he  visited  the  Sioux  In- 
dians and  the  Assinniboine  Indians,  who  inhabited  the  region  now 
known  as  Manitoba.  In  1680  he  went  once  more  to  the  headwaters  of 
the  Mississippi  River,  where  he  found  Father  Hennepin  a  prisoner 
among  the  Indians,  he  having  been  adopted  as  the  son  of  a  chief.  He 
brought  the  priest  down  the  river  and  crossed  the  country  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Illinois  River  to  Montreal.  Duluth  was  a  man  of  superb 
qualities;  his  courage  was  marvelous  and  his  tact  admirable.  In  1684 
two  of  his  followers  were  waylaid  and  murdered  by  Indians  on  the 
north  shore  of  Lake  Superior.  He  realized  that  if  the  crime  went  un- 
punished, the  Indians  would  hold  him  in  contempt,  and  his  followers 
would  lack  confidence  in  his  ability.  He  walked  boldly  into  the  camp 
of  a  large  band  of  Indians  and  asked  for  the  warriors  who  had  taken 
white  scalps.  Then  he  demanded  their  heads  of  the  chief,  but  was  re- 
fused ;  he  seized  the  two  offenders  and  shot  them  dead,  regardless  of 


the  yells  and  threats  of  the  savages  who  surrounded  them,  and  thus 
gained  their  respect.  In  1687,  as  already  stated,  he  built  Fort  St. 
Joseph,  at  the  foot  of  Lake  Huron.  His  courage  and  tact  were  again 
displayed  when  the  Iroquois  descended  upon  Montreal  in  1689.  They 
came  in  such  force  that  the  settlers  were  seized  with  panic.  Duluth 
took  twenty-seven  Canadians  with  him  in  a  large  canoe  and  went  out 
to  meet  a  party  of  twenty-two  Iroquois,  who  were  paddling  on  the 
river.  The  Indians  opened  fire  and  kept  it  up,  but  Duluth  made  his 
men  stand  to  their  paddles  until  they  closed  with  the  savages.  Then 
eighteen  were  killed,  three  were  taken  prisoners  and  one  was  allowed 
to  escape  to  tell  the  story  of  the  white  man's  valor  to  the  Six  Nations. 
Duluth  suffered  from  articular  rheumatism  from  his  youth,  and  in 
many  of  his  long  journeys  every  step  gave  him  a  pang.  He  died  in 
1709  at  the  head  of  Lake  Superior,  and  the  thriving  city  of  Duluth  is  a 
monument  to  his  name. 

As  soon  as  La  Salle  had  described  the  importance  of  Detroit  River 
to  Denonville  at  Quebec,  and  had  shown  the  danger  of  its  being  seized 
by  the  English,  the  governor  resolved  to  be  first  on  the  ground.  The 
following  extract  is  from  a  letter  from  Governor  Denonville  to  Duluth, 
dated  Ville  de  Marie  (the  ancient  name  for  Montreal),  June  6,  1686: 

"I  hereby  send  you  word  to  join  M.  Durantaye  who  is  to  be  at  Michilimaquina 
[Mackinaw]  to  carry  out  the  orders  I  am  sending  him  for  the  safety  of  our  allies  [the 
Huron  Indians]  and  friends.  You  will  see  from  the  letter  I  am  writing  M.  de  la 
Durantaye,  that  my  intention  is  that  you  should  occupy  a  post  in  an  advantageous 
spot  so  as  to  secure  this  passage  to  us,  to  protect  our  savages  who  go  hunting  there, 
and  to  serve  them  as  a  refuge  against  their  enemies  and  ours  [the  Iroquois].  You 
will  do  nothing  and  say  nothing  to  the  Iroquois,  unless  they  venture  on  an  attempt 
against  you  and  against  our  allies.  It  is  my  intention  that  you  shall  go  to  this  post 
as  soon  as  ever  you  can  with  about  twenty  men  only,  whom  you  will  station  there 
under  command  of  whichever  of  your  lieutenants  you  may  choose  as  being  the  fittest 
for  the  command.  After  you  have  given  all  the  orders  you  may  think  necessary  for 
the  safety  of  this  post  and  have  strictly  enjoined  your  lieutenant  to  be  on  his  guard, 
you  will  repair  to  Michilimaquina  to  wait  for  the  Rev.  Father  Anjabram  there,  and 
receive  instructions  and  information  as  to  all  I  have  communicated  to  him.  You  will 
then  return  to  this  post  with  thirty  more  men  whom  you  will  receive  from  M.  de  la 
Durantaye.  I  have  no  doubt  some  trade  in  furs  may  be  done,  so  your  men  will  do 
well  to  take  some  goods  there.  I  cannot  recommend  you  too  strongly  to  keep  a  good 
understanding  with  M.  de  la  Durantaye,  without  which  all  our  plans  will  come  to 
nothing  and  the  service  of  the  king  will  suffer  greatly." 

In  obeying  this  order  Duluth  made  an  error  of  judgment,  for  he 
selected  for  the  site  of  his  fort  the  spot  now  occupied  by  Fort  Gratiot 


and  named  the  post  Fort  St.  Joseph,  His  mistake  soon  became  appar- 
ent. On  June  7,  1687,  there  was  a  gathering  of  the  French  colonial 
celebrities  on  Detroit  River,  and  a  deed  of  possession  was  formally  pre- 
pared in  the  name  of  the  king  of  France  by  Olivier  Morel,  esquire,  Sieur 
de  la  Durantaye,  commandant  for  the  king  in  the  land  of  theOutaouan 
(Ottawas),  Miamis,  Poutouamies  (Potawatamies),  Cioux  (Sioux)  and 
other  tribes,  under  the  orders  of  the  Marquis  Denonville,  governor- 
general  of  New  France.      It  reads  in  part  as  follows: 

"This  seventh  day  of  June,  1687,  in  the  presence  of  Father  Anjabram,  M.  de  la 
Forest,  M.  de  Lisle,  our  lieutenant,  and  M.  Beauvais,  of  the  Fort  of  St.  Joseph  at 
the  strait  between  Lakes  Huron  and  Erie,  We  Declare  to  all  whom  it  may  concern 
that  we  came  to  the  margin  of  St.  Deny's  River  [supposed  to  be  identical  with  the 
River  Rouge]  situated  three  leagues  from  Lake  Errier  [Erie],  on  the  strait  between  said 
lakes  Huron  and  Errier,  to  the  south  of  said  strait  and  lower  down  toward  the  en- 
trance to  Lake  Errier  on  the  north.  On  behalf  of  the  king  and  in  his  name  to  repeat 
the  taking  possession  of  the  said  posts  which  was  done  by  M.  de  la  Salle  to  facilitate 
the  journeys  he  made  and  had  made  by  barge  from  Niagara  to  Michilimaquinac  in 
the  years  [left  vacant  in  MSS.],  at  which  said  stations  we  should  have  had  a  post  set 
up  again,  with  the  arms  of  the  king,  in  order  to  mark  the  said  retaking  possession, 
and  directed  several  small  dwellings  to  be  built  for  the  establishment  of  the  French 
and  savages,  the  Chaouannous  [Shawnees]  and  Miamis,  for  a  long  time  owners  of 
the  said  lands  of  the  straits  and  of  Lake  Errier,  from  which  they  withdrew  for  some 
time  for  their  greater  convenience." 

This  instrument  indicates  that  the  French  based  their  claims  upon 
the  discovery  of  La  Salle  and  upon  the  posts  or  camping  grounds 
where  his  party  encamped  during  the  historic  voyage  of  the  Griffon. 
They  took  pains  to  forestall  any  claims  the  British  may  have  set  up  by 
later  discovery,  and  also  any  claim  the  Iroquois,  who  were  friendly  to 
the  British,  might  have  set  up  on  driving  the  Miamis  and  Shawnees 
from  the  trapping  grounds  along  the  Detroit  River,  which  region  the 
Iroquois  claimed  under  the  name  of  Teuscha  Gronde. 

As  soon  as  Fort  St.  Joseph  was  built  at  the  foot  of  Lake  Huron,  the 
Iroquois,  who  had  been  urged  on  by  the  British,  went  to  Fort  Frontenac 
to  protest,  as  they  claimed  the  whole  region.  That  protest  was  disre- 
garded, and  the  British  set  to  work  to  prevent  the  French  from  gaining 
possession  and  from  securing  the  highway  to  the  fur  country  of  the 
north.  The  Iroquois  delegation  went  from  Frontenac  to  Orange  (Al- 
bany) and,  as  appears  in  the  first  chapter  of  this  work,  surrendered  all 
their  claims  to  the  British.  Governor  Dongan,  of  New  York,  protested 
for  the  British  against  the  French  claim  and  took  steps  toward  estab- 
lishing British  posts  in  the  territory.      It  proved  to  be  a  close  race  and 


the  French  only  won  because  they  came  in  superior  force.  As  Com- 
mandant Durantaye  came  down  with  his  canoe  fleet  from  Mackinaw, 
he  came  upon  a  party  of  English  and  Dutch  traders  from  Orange  or 
Albany,  under  command  of  a  Dutch  captain  named  Roseboom,  which 
had  passed  Fort  St.  Joseph  unobserved  by  the  garrison  and  had  reached 
a  point  twenty  miles  above  in  Lake  Huron.  This  party  numbered  but 
thirty  men,  and,  as  Durantaye  had  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  French 
and  Indians  with  him,  he  took  them  prisoners  and  they  were  unwilling 
witnesses  of  the  act  of  claim  by  the  French.  When  the  formalities  had 
been  observed,  the  party  which  now  numbered  nearly  three  hundred, 
set  out  for  Niagara.  Half  down  Lake  Erie  they  came  upon  a  party  of 
thirty  under  command  of  Major  McGregor,  who  were  on  their  way  to 
Detroit  River,  There  were  sixteen  Englishmen  and  thirteen  Iroquois 
in  the  party,  and  they  too  were  made  prisoners  and  carried  back  to 
Niagara.  Next  year  Fort  St.  Joseph,  being  badly  situated,  was  aban- 
doned, and  to  prevent  it  from  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  British,  it 
was  burned  to  the  ground  by  Baron  La  Hontan  while  on  his  way  to 
Mackinaw  in  1689. 

Duluth's  party,  which  took  formal  possession  of  the  Detroit  River, 
may  not  have  known  it,  but  there  was  a  much  earlier  claim  on  file  for 
the  French  in  the  archives  at  Quebec,  set  up  by  Fathers  Dollier  and 
Galinee,  in  1669,  eight  years  before,  which  has  already  been  alluded  to. 


Cadillac  the  Founder  of  Detroit — A  Clever  Gascon  Who  Has  Been  Much  Maligned 
— He  was  a  Privateer  Preying  upon  the  New  England  Coast — Then  Commandant  at 
Mackmaw— 1668-1701. 

A  majority  of  historians  say  that  Cadillac  was  born  in  the  fertile  and 
picturesque  country  bordering  on  the  Garonne,  at  the  village  of  Saint 
Nicholas-de-la-Grave,  included  in  the  modern  department  of  Tarn-et- 
Garonne,  on  March  5,  1658.  This  statement  is  adopted  by  Silas  Farmer 
in  his  history  of  Detroit  and  Michigan,  and  is  apparently  buttressed  by 
records  and  parish  registers.  Margry,  the  eminent  French  archivist, 
who  is  an  authority  on  French  colonization  in  America,  said  he  could 


not  ascertain  the  date  of  his  death.  C.  M.  Burton,  of  Detroit,  caused 
the  parish  records  of  Saint  Nicholas-de-la-Grave  to  be  examined  and 
'found  that  there  was  born  there  on  December  4,  1663,  Antoine  de  la 
Laumet,  son  of  Jean  Laumet  and  Jeanne  Pechequt,  and  does  not  be- 
lieve that  Antoine  de  la  Laumet  and  Antoine  de  la  Motte  are  the  same 
person.  Cadillac's  marriage  record  at  Quebec,  shows  that  his  father 
was  Jean  de  La  Mothe,  Seigneur  de  Cadillac,  conseiller  of  the  parlia- 
ment of  Toulouse,  and  that  his  mother  was  Jeanne  de  Malefant.  But 
the  question  is  really  of  minor  interest,  as  Cadillac's  later  history  on  all 
that  is  important  is  well  known  and  belongs  to  the  history  of  France 
and  America.  The  founder  of  Detroit  was  descended  from  a  family 
which  had  furnished  many  advocates,  judges  and  army  officers  to  the 
province  and  the  nation,  and  his  father,  Jean,  was  an  advocate  at  the 
court.  Antoine  probably  received  the  name  of  La  Mothe  Cadillac  from 
some  estate  of  his  parents,  who  were  well  endowed  with  this  world's 
goods.  This  change  of  name,  or  rather  adoption  of  another  name,  was 
quite  common  at  the  time.  In  like  manner  Marie  Arouet  received  the 
name  of  Voltaire,  and  became  one  of  the  world's  most  famous  men 
under  that  cognomen.  In  after  life  Cadillac  wrote  his  name  in  several 
ways,  but  in  this  bad  and  misleading  practice  he  simply  imitated 
many  others.  It  even  exists  to  this  day  among  many  French  Cana- 
dians. Cadillac  received  a  fine  education,  and  it  is  said  that  his  father 
wished  him  to  become  a  judge.  But  the  routine  life  of  a  provincial 
magistrate  did  not  present  any  attraction  for  the  sprightly  and  am- 
bitious young  man,  and  he  soon  afterward  entered  the  French  army, 
and  was  a  lieutenant  in  the  regiment  of  Dampierre- Lorraine,  and  a 
lieutenant  in  the  regiment  of  Claurembault  in  1677.  He  was  a  very 
good  Latin  scholar  and  a  student  of  biblical  history  and  theology;  in 
after  years  when  he  encountered  the  Jesuits  in  America,  he  showed 
that  he  was  an  adept  in  polemics.  A  tradition,  founded  on  an  old 
French  manuscript,  is  to  the  effect  that  he  committed  an  offense 
common  to  hot  youth,  and  that  to  avoid  the  consequences  he  came  to 

Cadillac  was  a  Gascon  by  birth  and  descent.  The  fact  that  his  father 
was  possessed  of  considerable  estate  in  the  province  is  evidence  that 
they  were  not  parvenues.  The  people  of  Gascony,  like  those  of  Brit- 
anny,  possess  marked  characteristics  which  distinguish  them  from 
other  Frenchmen.  Gascons  are  not  pure  French.  In  the  northern 
part  of  the  Iberian  Peninsula,  which  occupies  both  slopes  of  the  Pyre- 


nees,  live  the  remains  of  a  very  ancient  people  who  were  called  Vas- 
cones  in  ancient  times.  They  were  mountaineers,  herdsmen  and 
shepherds,  and  although  they  were  assailed  by  Cathaginians,  Romans, 
Saracens,  Goths,  French  and  Spaniards,  they  have  preserved  their  race 
identity  to  the  present  day,  together  with  the  most  remarkable  lan- 
guage in  Europe,  and  customs  which  differ  from  those  of  all  neighbor- 
ing people.  They  are  commonly  known  as  Basques,  but  those  who 
lived  on  the  northern  slope  of  the  Pyrenees  absorbed  a  portion  of  the 
great  Gothic  invasion,  and  the  Vascones  became  known  as  Gascons 
within  the  border  of  France.  They  are  to  France  what  the  Highland- 
ers are  to  Scotland — bold,  impetuous  and  untamable  by  oppression,  but 
good  citizens  and  splendid  soldiers  when  allowed  their  own  ways. 
Their  physical  characteristics  are  a  medium  build,  somewhat  spare  but 
extremely  robust  and  possessed  of  great  activity.  They  are  the  dark- 
est skinned  people  of  France,  and  have  large  gray  eyes  and  black  hair. 
They  have  been,  and  still  are,  blustering  fellows  with  the  strutting 
ways  of  the  game  cock,  and  with  the  same  appetite  for  battle.  Gas- 
conade is  a  synonym  for  brag,  bluff,  or  a  blustering  manner.  They 
are  extremely  democratic  in  their  ideas,  and  the  few  titled  people 
among  them  obtained  their  honors  for  participating  in  the  wars  with 
the  Moors.  It  is  doubtful  if  a  better  exposition  of  the  Gascon  charac- 
ter could  be  written  than  Dumas's  great  character,  D'Artagnan,  in  the 
"Three  Musketeers,"  and  one  may  picture  the  Sieur  Cadillac  as  an- 
other D'Artagnan,  somewhat  subdued  by  education,  years  and  associ- 
ation with  court  officials,  but  still  retaining  the  physical  and  mental 
characteristics  of  his  ancestors.  It  is  regrettable  that  more  authentic 
details  of  his  early  life  have  not  yet  been  discovered,  and  that  the  only 
account  of  his  youthful  career  that  has  been  written,  is  so  apparently 
untruthful  as  to  excite  anger  and  disgust  in  the  mind  of  the  student  of 
history.  The  alleged  biography  is  from  the  pen  of  Gayerre,  the  his- 
torian of  Louisiana,  of  which  Cadillac  was  governor  for  several  years 
after  he  left  Detroit.  Gayerre  for  some  cause  seems  to  have  imbibed 
a  hatred  of  the  founder  of  Detroit,  and  he  maliciously,  and  in  most 
cases  falsely,  abuses  him  from  every  standpoint.  He  ridicules  his 
physical  appearance,  depreciates  his  mental  makeup  and  denounces  his 
political  and  personal  career. 

"Cadillac's  family,"  says  Gayerre,  "was  ancient,  but  for  several 
centuries  it  had,  by  some  fatality  or  other,  been  rapidly  sliding  down 
from  the  elevated  position  it  once  occupied.     When  Cadillac  w^as  ushered 


into  life,  the  domains  of  his  ancestors  had  for  many  past  generations 
been  reduced  to  a  few  acres  of  land.  The  small  estate  was  dignified 
however  with  an  old  dilapidated  edifice  which  bore  the  name  of  castle, 
although  at  a  distance,  to  an  unprejudiced  eye,  it  presented  some  un- 
lucky resemblance  to  a  barn ;  a  solitary  tower  as  it  were  in  a  gown  of 
moss  and  ivy  raised  its  gray  head  to  a  height  which  might  have  been 
called  respectable,  and  which  appeared  to  offer  special  attraction  to 
crows,  swallows  and  bats.  The  young  boys  of  the  neighborhood  called 
it  Cadillac's  rookery,  and  it  was  currently  known  under  this  ungenteel 
appellation.  Cadillac  had  received  a  provincial  and  domestic  education, 
and  had  up  to  his  twenty  fifth  year  moved  in  a  very  contracted  sphere. 
Nay,  it  maj''  be  said  that  he  almost  lived  in  solitude,  for  he  had  lost 
both  his  parents  when  hardly  eighteen  summers  had  passed  over  his 
head,  and  he  had  since  kept  company  with  none  but  the  old  tutor  to 
whom  he  was  indebted  for  such  classical  attainments  as  he  had  acquired. 
His  mind  being  as  much  curtailed  in  its  proportions  as  his  patrimonial 
acres,  his  intellectual  vision  could  not  extend  very  far,  and  if  Cadillac 
was  not  literally  a  dunce,  it  was  well  known  that  Cadillac's  wits  would 
never  run  away  with  him.  Whether  it  was  owing  to  this  accidental 
organization  of  his  brain  or  not,  certain  it  is  that  one  thing  afforded  the 
most  intense  delight  to  Cadillac — it  was  that  no  blood  so  refined  as  his 
own  ran  in  the  veins  of  any  other  human  being,  and  that  his  person 
was  the  very  incarnation  of  ability.  With  such  a  conviction  rooted  in 
his  heart,  it  is  not  astonishing  that  his  tall,  thin  and  emaciated  body 
should  have  stiffened  itself  into  the  most  accurate  observation  of  the 
perpendicular.  Indeed  it  was  exceedingly  pleasant  and  exhilarating  to 
the  lungs  to  see  Cadillac  on  a  Sunday  morning  strutting  along  in  full 
dress,  on  his  way  to  church,  through  the  meager  village  attached  to  his 
hereditary  domain.  His  bow  to  the  mayor  and  the  curate  was  some- 
thing rare — an  infinite  burlesque  of  infinitive  majesty,  thawing  into 
infinite  affability.  His  ponderous  wig,  the  curls  of  which  spread  like 
a  peacock's  tail,  seemed  to  be  alive  with  a  conscious  pride  at  the  good 
luck  it  had  of  covering  a  head  of  so  much  importance  to  the  human 
race.  His  eyes,  in  whose  favor  nature  had  been  pleased  to  deviate 
from  the  oval  to  the  round  shape,  were  possessed  with  a  stare  of  as- 
tonishment, as  if  they  meant  to  convey  the  impression  that  the  spirit 
within  was  in  a  trance  of  stupefaction,  at  the  astonishing  fact  that  the 
being  it  animated  did  not  produce  a  more  startling  effect  upon  the 
world.     The  physiognomy  which  I  am  endeavoring  to  depict  was  ren- 


dered  more  remarkable  by  a  stout,  cocked- up,  snub  nose,  which  looked 
as  if  it  had  been  hurried  back  in  a  fright  from  the  tip  to  squat  in  rather 
too  close  proximity  to  the  eyes,  which,  with  its  dilated  nostrils,  seemed 
always  on  the  point  of  sneezing  at  something  thrusting  itself  between 
the  wind  and  its  nobility.  His  lips  wore  a  mocking  smile,  as  if  sneer- 
ing at  the  strange  circumstance  that  a  Cadillac  should  be  reduced  to  be 
an  obscure,  penniless  individual.  But  if  Cadillac  had  his  weak  points, 
it  must  also  be  told  that  he  was  not  without  strong  ones.  Thus  he  had 
a  great  deal  of  energy,  bordering,  it  is  true,  upon  obstinacy;  he  was  a 
rigidly  moral  and  pious  man,  and  he  was  too  proud    not  to  be  valiant." 

Gayerre  goes  on  in  the  same  vein  to  say  that  "  Cadillac  deemed  it  a 
paramount  duty  to  himself  and  his  Maker  not  to  allow  his  race  to  be- 
come extinct,  and  he  went  a  courting  among  the  gentility  of  the  neigh- 
borhood, where  he  was  universally  voted  a  quiz.  So  he  had  to  con- 
tent himself  with  a  poor  spinster  who,  like  himself,  was  of  unsullied 
descent  and  hereditary  poverty.  The  lady  was  a  distant  relative  to  the 
duke  of  Lauzon,  and  she  wrote  him  in  behalf  of  her  new  husband. 
Lauzon  showed  the  quaint  letter  to  Louis  XIV,  who  smiled  at  its  con- 
tents and  gave  Cadillac  a  captaincy  in  an  infantry  regiment  which  had 
been  ordered  to  Canada." 

It  is  quite  evident  that  Ga^'erre  drew  this  picture  of  the  founder  of 
Detroit  from  pure  imagination.  To  give  his  description  some  coloring 
of  truth,  he  has  caricatuied  the  typical  Gascon  outrageously  and  has 
made  a  very  poor  attempt  to  follow  Dumas,  who  introduces  his  Gascon 
hero,  D'Artagnan,  as  a  "Don  Quixote  of  eighteen  years,"  and  subse- 
quently develops  him  into  the  flower  of  the  army.  Note  the  descrip- 
tion of  D'Artagnan  as  he  steps  upon  the  first  page  of  the  novel.  "A 
Don  Quixote  clothed  in  a  woolen  doublet,  the  blue  color  of  which  has 
faded  to  a  nameless  shade  between  the  lees  of  wine  and  a  heavenly 
azure.  Face  long  and  brown;  high  cheek  bones — a  sign  of  austerity; 
the  maxillary  muscles  enormously  developed— an  infallible  sign  by 
which  a  Gascon  may  always  be  detected,  even  without  his  barret  cap 
set  o£E  with  a  feather;  the  eye  open  and  intelligent;  the  nose  hooked, 
but  finely  chiseled — too  big  for  a  youth,  too  small  for  a  man.  Our 
young  man  had  a  steed,  which  was  observed  of  all  observers;  it  was  a 
Beam  pony,  twelve  or  fourteen  years  old,  yellow  in  his  hide,  without  a 
hair  in  his  tail,  but  not  without  windgalls  on  his  legs,  which,  through 
going  with  his  head  lower  than  his  knees,  rendered  a  martingale  quite 
unnecessary;  he  contrived  nevertheless  to  perform  his  eight  leagues  a 
day. " 


This  is  but  a  fragment,  but  it  is  sufficient  to  show  the  source  of 
Gayerre's  inspiration.  It  is  evident  that  this  Frenchman,  who  under- 
took to  describe  Cadillac  to  the  world,  did  not  recognize  the  distinction 
between  history  and  romance ;  between  fact  and  fiction.  This  picture 
of  Cadillac  and  his  antecedents,  even  at  first  blush,  and  without  exam- 
ining authorities,  would  be  seriously  questioned  by  students  of  history, 
but  when  the  record  of  history  is  consulted  it  can  be  shown  to  be  un- 
warranted by  facts  or  even  probability.  And  yet  there  are  those  who 
think  and  say  even  at  this  late  day,  that  Gayerre's  work  has  "thrown  a 
flood  of  light  on  the  personality  and  character  of  Cadillac."  In  the 
first  place,  Cadillac  did  not  marry  any  poor,  well-born  maiden  in 
France ;  he  was  married  to  Marie  Theresa  Guyon,  at  Quebec,  and  this 
was  his  first  and  only  wife.  So  that  the  fanciful  story  of  his  owing  his 
advancement  to  his  wife's  powerful  relatives  in  France  is  pure  fiction. 
Had  he  been  a  bigamist,  the  Jesuits,  who  were  his  enemies  and  who 
had  the  ear  of  Louis  XIV,  through  his  confessor,  Pere  la  Chaise,  a 
member  of  their  order,  would  undoubtedly  have  published  it  to  the 
world  As  for  the  description  of  Cadillac's  person  by  the  same  author, 
it  may  be  said  to  be  inspired  by  a  literary  prejudice  which  is  really  un- 
scrupulous in  its  malice.  But  any  further  discussion  of  Gayerre's  de- 
piction of  Cadillac  is  totally  unnecessary,  as  that  author  in  a  letter  to 
Silas  Farmer,  the  author  of  the  "  History  of  Detroit  and  Michigan," 
practically  acknowledged  that  his  allusions  to  the  founder  of  Detroit 
were  imaginary,  and  that  he  knew  nothing  of  his  antecedents  previous 
to  his  coming  to  Louisiana  as  its  governor  in  1713.  Gayerre  writes  as 
follows:  "  I  know  nothing  historical  about  his  looks,  but  squibs  and 
pasquinades  floated  down  the  stream  of  time  about  his  oddities,  through 
the  channels  of  tradition.  I  somewhat  fancifully  sketched  his  per- 
sonal appearance  so  as  to  make  it  agree  with  his  character  as  it  pre- 
sented itself  to  me,  historically  and  professionally." 

Toward  the  close  of  the  17th  century  the  explorations  and  coloniza 
tion  of  France  in  America  were  subjects  of  intense  interest  among  all 
classes  in  the  mother  country.  They  enlisted  the  attention  of  the 
mercantile  classes,  ever  anxious  to  extend  their  trading  interests;  the 
young,  who  were  fascinated  by  the  romance  of  adventure  in  a  distant 
clime;  and  the  religious,  to  whom  the  aborigines  seemed  to  afford  a 
grand  opportunity  for  conversion  to  Christianity.  Young  Cadillac 
was  ambitious  and  romantic  when  he  left  old  France  and  came  to  New 
France  in  1683;  he  was  then  about  twenty-three  years  of  age.     His 


first  movements  in  the  new  country  are  not  known.  Being  a  French 
officer,  it  would  appear  probable  that  he  would  seek  service  in  one  of 
the  French  commands  at  Quebec,  or  at  some  of  its  dependencies,  but 
this  he  did  not  do.  Perhaps  he  realized  that  the  station  and  pay  of  a 
lieutenant  in  a  wild  and  thinly  settled  colony  promised  neither  glory  or 
wealth.  Whatever  his  reason,  he  turned  his  back  on  Quebec  and  went 
to  Port  Royal,  on  the  east  coast  of  Acadia  (Nova  Scotia),  then  a  French 
colony,  where  he  became  a  subordinate  to  Francois  Guyon,  a  master 
mariner.  Guyon  was  at  that  time  engaged  in  the  hazardous  and  often 
profitable  business  of  privateering.  Margry,  the  French  archivist, 
calls  him  a  "corsair,"  which  is  equivalent  to  the  term  pirate,  but  he 
was  not  a  sea  marauder  who  sailed  under  the  black  flag.  France  under 
Louis  XIV  was  at  war  with  Spain  in  1683,  and  had  invaded  the  Spanish 
Netherlands,  but  hostilities  ended  the  next  year  by  the  treaty  of  Ratis- 
bon.  But  the  reign  of  the  Grand  Monarch  was  one  of  almost  incessant 
war,  and  in  1688  France  was  at  war  with  Germany,  Spain  and  England 
allied.  The  fighting  lasted  ten  years  and  was  ended  by  the  treaty  of 
Ryswyck  in  1697.  During  these  years  there  was  a  fine  field  of  oper- 
ation for  French  privateers  in  America,  and  it  may  well  be  supposed 
that  Guyon  and  Cadillac  made  good  and  profitable  captures  of  English 
ships  and  Spanish  galleons  laden  with  the  treasures  of  the  new  world. 
This  part  of  Cadillac's  life  has  not  yet  been  investigated  by  historians, 
but  there  is  scarcely  any  doubt  that  the  records  of  the  French  ministry 
of  marine  of  that  day  will  yet  afford  ample  information  of  their  joint 
doings.  This  period  was  probably  the  turning  point  in  Cadillac's  life. 
The  maritime  excursions  from  Port  Royal  doubtless  ranged  along  the 
entire  Atlantic  coast,  and  he,  Cadillac,  thereby  acquired  an  accurate 
and  extensive  knowledge  of  the  coasts  of  New  England  and  Virginia, 
at  that  time  studded  with  British  colonies.  During  the  constant  wars 
between  B2uropean  nations  at  this  period  there  was  always  more  or  less 
privateering,  and  the  spoils  were  so  tempting  that  the  men  who  en- 
gaged in  such  enterprises  were  loath  to  give  up  their  calling  when 
peace  was  declared.  When  they  could  not  secure  letters  of  marque 
legalizing  their  system  of  robbery,  they  hoisted  the  black  flag,  like 
Captain  Kidd,  and  committed  horrible  crimes  against  inoffensive  per- 
sons for  the  purpose  of  making  rich  gains.  Instead  of  taking  a  cap- 
tured vessel  to  a  home  or  a  neutral  port,  and  selling  it  as  a  prize  in 
conformity  with  the  law  of  nations,  these  buccaneers  took  the  most 
valuable  portion  of  the  cargo,  usually  limiting  their  seizure  to  specie 


gold  and  silver  bullion,  jewels  and  rum,  and  then,  to  conceal  their 
crime,  murdered  the  passengers  and  crew  and  destroyed  the  captured 
vessel,  Guyon  and  Cadillac  were  apparently  men  of  honor  who  would 
not  stoop  to  such  crimes. 

It  was  during  this  period  of  his  life  that  Cadillac  paid  a  visit  to  Que- 
bec, where  he  got  into  trouble.  In  this  visit  he  was  probably  bent  on 
pleasure  rather  than  business.  It  appears  that  Governor  Denonville 
summoned  the  officers  at  Quebec  and  a  number  of  witnesses  to  a  court 
martial  held  in  the  house  of  the  widow  of  Pierre  Pellerin,  in  St.  Pierre 
street,  Quebec,  on  the  evening  of  May  4,  168G.  Cadillac  was  then  in 
Quebec  on  a  visit  and  he  was  the  culprit  at  this  trial.  The  witnesses 
deposed  that  a  number  of  them,  soldiers  of  the  fort,  had  been  gathered 
at  the  wine  shop  of  the  widow  St.  Armand  in  lower  town  on  the  pre- 
vious evening.  Lieutenant  Jacques  Charles  Sabrevois,  of  Captain  Des- 
querac's  company,  was  the  leader  of  the  party.  M.  de  La  Mothe  (Cad- 
illac) entered  the  room  alone,  apparently  in  bad  temper.  Sabrevois 
asked  him  if  he  would  join  him  and  some  of  the  others  and  go  to  the 
upper  town,  but  Cadillac  scornfully  declined  and  remarked  if  he  was 
in  the  place  of  Captain  Desquerac  he  would  confine  Sabrevois  to  the 
quarters.  When  Sabrevois  asked  why,  Cadillac  ironically  said  he  would 
not  have  such  a  gallant  coxcomb  strutting  about  at  large  among  the 
ladies,  for  he  would  consider  him  a  dangerous  rival. 

"Well  you  might,"  replied  Sabrevois,  "for  if  you  had  a  mistress  I 
should  certainly  be  your  rival." 

"  That  he  would,"  said  De  la  Parelle,  one  of  the  party,  "  and  you 
would  never  have  the  wit  to  discover  it." 

"  Wit,  wit,  what  do  you  mean  by  such  talk,"  asked  Cadillac  angrily; 
then  he  turned  to  Sabrevois  who  was  a  great  gallant  among  the  ladies 
and  much  petted  by  the  authorities. 

"Go,  my  little  friend,"  said  he,  curling  his  lips  in  scorn,  "  although 
I  am  not  supported  by  the  Marquis  as  you  are,  I  can  give  you  a  good 
thrashing,  which  you  appear  to  need." 

"What!  a  thrashing!  and  from  you?"  cried  Sabrevois  clapping  his 
hand  to  his  sword  hilt. 

Cadillac  snatched  his  blade  half  way  from  the  scabbard,  and  then  mutual 
friends  rushed  between  the  two  belligerents.  Cadillac  replaced  his 
sword  because  it  was  impossible  to  use  it,  but  a  candle  was  burning  in 
a  massive  copper  candlestick  which  stood  on  the  table.  He  snatched 
this  candlestick   and   hurled   it  at  Sabrevois's  head,  felling  him  to  the 



floor.  The  room  was  left  in  darkness  and  vSabrevois  cried  out:  "I'm 
killed!  I'm  a  dead  man." 

Sabrevois  was  not  killed,  however,  although  he  carried  the  scar  of  a 
bad  scalp  wound  to  his  grave.  He  lived  to  became  a  prominent  resident 
of  Detroit  for  many  years.  He  was  commandant  at  Detroit  from  1714 
to  1717;  again  from  1734  to  1738  and  once  more  from  1746  to  1750,  at 
which  time  he  must  have  been  above  eighty  years  of  age.  Cadillac  had 
been  in  his  grave  nearly  twenty  years  at  that  time. 

Soon  after  this  quarrel  with  Sabrevois,  Cadillac  fell  in  love.  He  had 
paid  several  visits  to  the  home  of  his  superior,  Francois  Guyon,  at  Beau- 
port,  a  settlement  on  the  St.  Lawrence,  near  Quebec.  Here  he  first 
met  Marie  Therese,  daughter  of  Denis  Guyon,  a  brother  of  Francois, 
who  had  come  there  from  Quebec  on  a  visit  to  her  uncle's  family.  The 
acquaintance  ripened  into  mutual  love,  and  they  were  married  at  the 
house  of  the  bride's  father  in  Quebec,  on  June  25,  1687.  He  received 
a  substantial  dowry,  as  was  the  custom  of  the  time,  and  the  newly 
married  couple  went  to  Port  Royal  to  settle  down  in  life.  He  applied 
to  Governor  Denonville  for  a  grant  of  land  called  Donaquec,  in  what  is 
now  the  State  of  Maine.  This  land  was  on  the  coast  and  was  six  miles 
square,  and  he  also  asked  for  the  Island  of  Mt.  Desert,  lying  in  front 
of  the  tract.  This  was  granted  by  Governor  Denonville  and  Intendant 
Champigny  in  1688,  and  was  confirmed  by  Louis  XIV  on  May  24,  1689. 
Besides  the  grant  of  this  domain,  he  was  commissioned  a  magistrate, 
with  rights  of  high,  middle  and  low  justice,  which  made  him  virtually 
the  ruler  in  his  district.  It  is  evident  that  these  favors  were  bestowed 
upon  him  for  his  skill  and  intrepidity  as  a  mariner,  and  that  he  served 
what  the  French  government  considered  the  highest  interests  of  that 
nation  by  crippling  or  destroying  the  merchant  ships  of  the  British  in 
American  waters. 

But  France  had  need  of  Cadillac  and  he  was  not  allowed  to  sink  into 
semi-obscurity  as  a  seigneur  and  rural  potentate.  Chevalier  Louis 
Hector  de  Callieres,  then  commandant  of  Mount  Royal  (Montreal), 
went  to  Paris  and  in  January,  1689,  presented  a  plan  for  a  joint  land 
and  naval  expedition  for  the  capture  of  New  York.  The  plan  was 
approved  by  Louis  XIV,  and  two  vessels,  the  L'Embuscade  and  LeFour- 
gon,  were  fitted  out  for  the  expedition  and  placed  under  the  command 
of  Rear  Admiral  Sieur  de  la  Caffiniere.  Frontenac,  who  had  been  a 
second  time  appointed  governor  of  New  France,  accompanied  the  ex- 
pedition.    The  expedition   reached   the   mouth   of  the   St.  Lawrence, 


where  Frontenac  shipped  on  another  vessel  for  Quebec,  where  he  was 
to  g-ather  a  land  force  and  march  on  New  York.  The  two  war  vessels 
went  on  their  way  to  the  Bay  of  New  York,  then  called  the  Bay  of 
Menathe.  Caffiniere  captured  seven  English  vessels  on  the  way,  but 
had  to  put  in  at  Port  Royal  on  account  of  contrary  winds.  Here  he 
became  impressed  with  the  necessity  of  securing  a  pilot  who  knew  the 
coast,  and  engaged  Cadillac,  but  when  they  reached  the  Bay  of  New 
York  there  was  no  land  force  there  to  co-operate  with  the  fleet.  The 
season  being  late,  he  returned  to  France,  taking  Cadillac  with  him. 


The  young  Gascon  spent  seven  months  at  the  Court  of  France,  where 
he  sedulously  sought  preferment,  and  lived  as  best  he  might,  princi- 
pally by  borrowing  money.  His  manner,  which  was  ingratiating  and 
cordial,  stood  him  in  good  stead  and  he  soon  impressed  those  in  power 
with  his  knowledge  and  capacity.  His  opinions  were  sought  by  mili- 
tary and  naval  ofBcers,  and  his  future  prospects  seemed  brighter  than 
ever.  While  thus  employed  concocting  measures  for  the  capture  of 
New  York  and  Boston,  the  British  were  busy  at  his  home  at  Port 
Royal.  On  May  10,  1690,  a  fleet  under  Sir  William  Phips  entered 
Port  Royal  and  plundered  the  town,  burned  Cadillac's  house  and  sev- 
eral other  dwellings,  and  made  his  wife  and  family  prisoners  of  war, 
but  they  were  soon  released.  A  few  months  afterward  Sir  William 
Phips  with  a  fleet  of  thirty-four  vessels,  large  and  small,  advanced  to 
Beauport  and,  sending  a  flag  of  truce,  demanded  the  surrender  of 
Quebec.  But  Frontenac  made  a  spirited  defense  and  four  days  after- 
ward Phips's  force  retired,  his  land  troops  abandoning  their  cannon 
and  ammunition. 

The  Marquis  de  Denonville,  who  was  governor  of  New  France  from 
1G85  to  1G89,  retained  considerable  interest  in  its  affairs  after  he  had  re- 
signed his  office.  In  1690  he  submitted  to  the  government  a  plan  for 
attack  on  the  English  settlements  at  New  York,  Boston  and  elsewhere. 
There  were,  he  said,  three  persons  in  New  France  who  were  well 
acquainted  with  the  New  England  coast,  namely,  M.  Perrot,  Sieur  de 
Villebon,  and  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Meanwhile  Cadillac  had  become  ac- 
quainted with  the  colonial  minister,  Count  Pontchartrain,  who  admired 
him  for  his  ability  and  address,  and  when  he  left  France  for  America, 
November,  1690,  he  bore  with  him  the  following  letter  of  recommend- 
ation, signed  by  Pontchartrain: 


"  Sieur  de  Lamothe  Cadillac,  a  gentleman  of  Acadia,  having  been  ordered  to  em- 
bark for  the  service  of  the  king,  on  the  Embuscade,  which  vessel  had  brought  him 
to  France,  his  majesty  being  informed  that  during  his  absence  his  habitation  was 
ruined,  hopes  that  Frontenac,  the  new  governor  of  Canada,  will  find  it  convenient 
to  give  him  such  employment  as  he  may  find  proper  for  his  services  and  that  he  will 
assist  him  if  he  can." 

Cadillac  presented  this  letter  to  Governor  Frontenac  when  he  arrived 
in  Quebec,  and  in  obedience  to  the  wishes  of  the  king  he  was  appointed 
lieutenant  of  the  troop  of  the  colony  in  place  of  Sieur  de  Longueil, 
made  captain.  Strictly  speaking,  the  colonial  troop  were  not  soldiers 
but  marines,  as  the  French  minister  of  marine  had  charge  of  all  colonial 
affairs.  In  June,  1691,  Cadillac  again  experienced  a  stroke  of  bad  for- 
tune. His  wife  and  children  and  remaining  property  shipped  on  board 
a  barque  at  Port  Royal  (now  named  Annapolis  Royal)  for  Quebec,  but 
at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Lawrence  the  boat  was  captured  by  an  English 
privateer  from  Boston.  It  is  not  known  whether  his  wife  and  family 
were  taken  to  Boston,  but  if  so  they  were  not  detained  long.  The 
parish  records  at  Quebec  show  that  Mme.  Cadillac  there  gave  birth  to 
a  son,  Antoine,  who  was  baptized  April  26,  1692;  this  was  the  oldest 
son.  A  daughter  named  Magdaline  was  born  to  them  before  that  time. 
In  the  same  month  Cadillac  received  a  letter  from  Louis  XIV,  request- 
ing him  to  come  to  France  and  give  information  regarding  the  pro- 
posed attack  on  the  English  settlements.  Again  he  left  his  family, 
and  in  Paris  submitted  an  elaborate  plan  of  operation,  in  which  he  dis- 
played his  wonderful  knowledge  of  the  topography  of  the  entire  coast, 
its  villages,  populations,  character  of  the  inhabitants,  fortifications, 
military  strength  and  the  soundings  of  bays  and  rivers.  This  report 
is  still  in  the  French  archives,  and  its  perusal,  with  other  knowledge  of 
the  man,  enabled  Margry,  the  archivist,  to  say  that  "Cadillac  had  the 
best  of  instruction ;  he  had  ideas  concerning  politics,  military  affairs, 
colonization,  the  royal  power  and  its  relation  with  the  church,  the  In- 
dians, etc.,  and  these  ideas  he  maintained  with  a  certain  braggadocia 
spirit.  He  went  to  the  bottom  of  these  questions  and  his  letters,  like 
his  memoirs,  were  characteristic  and  sharp."  James  Rundot,  the 
French  intendant  of  New  France,  also  says  that  "he  had  a  winning 
manner."  His  interest  at  the  court  of  France  was  materially  strength- 
ened by  his  masterly  report  and  to  this  was  added  the  strong  friendship 
of  Count  Pontchartrain. 



Cadillac  Foolishly  Quarrels  with  the  Jesuits  and  Lays  the  Foundation  of  all  His 
Misfortunes— He  Wanted  to  Sell  Brandy  to  the  Indians  in  Defiance  of  the  Law— 

Cadillac  spent  the  winter  of  1693  at  Quebec  in  close  communion  with 
Governor  Frontenac,  as  a  member  of  his  military  household.  The 
tedium  of  a  cold  winter  was  enlivened  with  accustomed  Gallic  gayety 
by  parties,  balls  and  private  theatricals.  Two  plays,  "Nicomede" 
and  "  Mithridate,"  were  presented  by  the  officers,  citizens  and  ladies 
who  had  dramatic  tastes.  In  these  plays  the  clerical  characters  were 
shown  to  be  only  human  beings,  and  afflicted  with  propensities  com- 
mon to  the  rest  of  mankind.  In  plays  of  this  character  Moliere,  the 
great  French  dramatist,  had  incurred  the  hostility  of  the  priesthood 
thirty  years  before.  His  "Tartuffe"  had  been  presented  at  the  Palais 
Royal  with  signal  success,  but  its  second  representation  had  been  for- 
bidden by  the  archbishop,  who  threatened  excommunication  to  both 
the  actors  and  the  audience  who  attended  it.  The  plays  presented  at 
Quebec  were  of  a  milder  sort,  but  the  Jesuits  resented  their  produc- 
tion. Governor  Frontenac,  who  was  an  enemy  of  the  order,  like  De 
Soto  and  La  Salle,  took  the  other  side  and  a  bitter  quarrel  ensued  be- 
tween the  Church  and  State,  in  which  the  people  ranged  themselves 
on  either  side.  It  is  needless  to  say  that  Cadillac  was  on  the  side  of 
the  governor. 

In  1694  he  received  the  appointment  of  commandant  at  Michilli- 
mackinac  (Mackinac).  His  shattered  fortunes  were  greatly  in  need  of 
such  a  position,  but  he  was  not  elated  thereby,  as  the  climate  in  that 
region  was  severe  and  he  shrewdly  foresaw  that  his  authority  would  be 
greatly  curtailed  by  the  influence  of  the  Jesuits,  who  had  founded  the 
post  and  virtually  ruled  its  affairs.  This  region  was  not  unknown  to 
the  early  French  explorers;  Father  Allouez,  who  had  come  to  Quebec 
with  Champlain  in  1615,  had  visited  it  in  1665,  and  had  pushed  west- 
ward past  Mackinaw  to  Green  Bay,  in  what  is  now  the  State  of  Wis- 
consin,   where  he  taught  the  gospel  to  the  Miamis,    Mascoutins  and 


Kickapoos.  Here,  too,  Father  Marquette  in  1668  had  founded  a 
mission  where  the  St.  Mary's  River  enters  Lake  Huron,  and  here  he 
was  buried  under  the  earthen  floor  of  the  chapel  at  St.  Ignace  in  1675. 
Four  years  later  came  to  Mackinac  the  good  ship  Griffon,  the  first  ves- 
sel on  Lakes  Erie  and  Huron,  with  Robert  de  La  Salle  and  Henry  Tonty 
on  board.  Cadillac  accepted  the  position  and  commenced  by  borrow- 
ing 3,750  livres,  or  about  $750  from  Francis  Hazeur,  of  Montreal,  for 
the  purpose  of  investing  in  furs.  The  document  acknowledging  this 
debt  is  now  (1897)  in  the  possession  of  Joseph  Belanger,  the  French 
consul  of  Detroit.  Gathering  a  number  of  emigrants  at  Quebec,  he 
started  for  Michillimackinac,  but  the  reports  of  the  disadvantage  of  the 
place  so  wrought  on  them  that  a  majority  stopped  at  Montreal  and 
would  go  no  further,  but  he  took  the  remainder  and  pushed  on  to  his 
destination,  where  he  succeeded  the  Sieur  de  Louvigny. 

In  1694,  when  Cadillac  took  charge,  Michillimackinac  had  a  fort 
garrisoned  by  some  200  French  troops,  and  a  white  civil  population  of 
about  two  hundred,  composed  of  traders,  coiireurs  de  bois  and  artisans, 
v7ho  occupied  some  sixty  houses  within  the  palisade.  Around  the  fort 
were  the  villages  of  the  Hurons,  Ottawas  and  other  tribes  of  the  Al- 
gonquin confeder'acy,  who  were  gathered  there  under  the  influence  of 
the  Jesuit  missionaries.  In  summer  the  savages  were  mostly  engaged 
in  hunting,  and  in  the  winter  made  the  neighborhood  of  the  fort  their 
home.  In  the  latter  season  there  were  about  six  thousand  Indians 
around  this  place.  It  was  not  long  before  there  was  trouble  between 
the  commandant  and  the  priests.  The  Jesuits  there  had  heard  of  the 
dramatic  villification  of  the  clergy  at  Quebec,  and,  it  is  said,  incited 
some  of  the  officers  of  the  post  against  the  commandant.  But  Cadillac 
quickly  stopped  the  trouble  by  placing  the  officers  under  arrest.  This 
was  probably  the  beginning  of  the  long  contmued  opposition  of  the 
Jesuits  to  Cadillac  and  his  plans,  an  opposition  which  he  encountered 
at  nearly  every  step  in  his  career,  and  which  lasted  until  he  left  Amer- 
ica for  old  France.  The  pojst  of  Mackinac  was  a  part  of  the  French 
scheme  for  the  establishment  of  armed  forts  along  the  lakes  and  rivers 
and  down  the  Mississippi  to  its  mouth,  for  the  joint  purpose  of  afford- 
ing protection  to  the  fur  trade  of  France  and  the  friendly  Indians,  as 
against  the  rival  interests  of  England  and  the  warlike  Iroquois.  A 
commercial  disadvantage,  which  was  also  recognized  by  the  French, 
was  that  the  English  sold  or  rather  bartered  their  goods  for  the  furs  of 
the  Indians  at  much  better  bargains  than  were  allowed  by  the  French, 

and  were  sedulous  in  impressing  the  fact  on  the  Indians  at  Mackinac 
and  elsewhere,  by  means  of  spies.  Although  the  Hurons  and  Ottawas 
were  as  nations  generally  opposed  to  the  Iroquois  and  the  British,  they 
were  nevertheless  keenly  alive  to  their  own  interests,  and  a  barrel  of 
rum,  a  keg  of  powder  or  a  package  of  blankets  would  make  friends  of 
ancient  enemies.  The  same  was  true  of  the  Iroquois  and  probably  of 
all  the  aborigines  of  the  period.  The  cunning  British  traders  could 
thus  prevail  on  a  band  of  Hurons  to  take  some  Iroquois  to  the  fort  and 
to  their  homes,  ostensibly  as  prisoners,  but  really  as  spies  to  give  in- 
formation about  the  low-priced  British  goods. 

Cadillac  with  his  native  acumen  soon  became  aware  of  this  scheme 
and  prepared  to  defeat  it.  One  evening  a  Huron  party  brought  in 
seven  Iroquois,  of  whom  one  was  a  chief,  as  prisoners,  but  two  of  them 
were  stabbed  when  they  landed  on  the  beach:  The  Hurons  protected 
the  others,  but  finally  gave  the  Iroquois  chief  into  the  hands  of  the 
French,  who  thereupon  sent  an  invitation  to  the  Ottawas  to  drink  the 
broth  of  an  Iroquois.  The  victim  was  tied  to  a  stake,  tortured  by 
burning  his  flesh  with  a  red  hot  gun  barrel,  and  afterward  cut  to  pieces 
and  eaten.  At  another  time  four  Iroquois  prisoners,  taken  in  war  by 
parties  sent  out  by  Cadillac,  were  burned,  in  order  to  renew  and  per- 
petuate the  strife  between  the  Algonquins  and  Hurons  on  the  one  side, 
and  the  Iroquois  on  the  other.  Cadillac  at  this  time  said,  "If  they 
bring  any  prisoners  to  me,  I  can  assure  you  their  fate  will  be  no  sweeter 
than  that  of  the  others." 

In  1696  Frontenac  overran  part  of  New  York,  ravaging  the  English 
settlements  and  in  battle  so  reduced  the  Iroquois  strength  that  they 
lost  1,500  out  of  2,800  warriors.  This  event  and  the  treaty  of  Ryswick 
in  1697,  whereby  peace  was  made  between  France  and  the  allied  pow- 
ers, Germany,  England,  Spain  and  Holland,  restored  quiet  for  a  time 
in  the  lake  region. 

The  greatest  trouble  between  the  Jesuit  fathers  and  the  command- 
ant was  the  liquor  question.  Competition  with  the  British,  who  fur- 
nished rum  and  other  goods  in  trade  for  peltries,  made  it  absolutely 
necessary  for  the  French  to  deal  out  ardent  liquors  also.  To  stop  this 
branch  of  the  traffic  was  simply  to  turn  the  trade  into  the  hands  of  their 
rivals.  The  Jesuits  were  determined  to  stop  the  traffic  and  Cadillac 
was  determined  to  continue  it.  The  Jesuits  spoke  of  the  demoraliza- 
tion of  the  Indians  and  the  loss  of  souls  through  the  influence  of  strong 
drink,  and  Cadillac  retorted  by  saying  that  the  inclement  winters  at 


the  post  and  the  absence  of  proper  food  at  all  seasons  made  it  necessary 
that  a  small  quantity  of  liquor  should  be  taken  by  every  one  every  day. 
"  How  will  you  be  able,"  he  wrote  to  the  priest,  "  to  endure  the  daily 
exposure  of  these  neophytes,  for  whom  you  feel  so  much  affection,  to 
the  excessive  use  of  English  rum  and  the  imbibing  of  heresy  ?"  He 
also  charged  the  Jesuits  with  trading  in  beaver  skins  and  also  issuing 
rum  to  the  Indians,  contrary  to  the  king's  order  and  their  own  duties, 
which  included  poverty  as  well  as  chastity  and  obedience.  The  latter 
charges,  however,  were  not  true ;  it  was  afterward  proved  that  it  was 
the  coureiirs  de  bois  or  boatmen,  hired  by  the  Jesuits  to  carry  their  sup- 
plies in  canoes,  who  were  the  transgressors ;  and  these  boatmen  carried 
goods  and  liquor  surreptitiously  on  their  own  account  without  the  knowl- 
edge and  consent  of  their  employers.  The  Jesuits  had  a  powerful 
friend  at  the  court  of  Louis  XIV,  in  the  person  of  Pere  La  Chaise,  after 
whom  the  great  Parisian  cemetery  is  named,  and  who  was  the  confes- 
sor of  that  monarch  and  a  member  of  their  order.  In  1694  the  king 
referred  to  the  Council  of  the  Sorbonne  for  decision  the  liquor  question 
at  Mackinac.  The  Sorbonne  was  the  principal  school  of  theology  in 
the  ancient  University  of  Paris,  and  had  great  influence  and  power, 
and  was  appealed  to  in  the  disputes  between  the  civil  powers  and  the 
papacy,  and  in  the  great  theological  controversies  and  schisms  that 
divided  the  church.  The  council  decided  that  French  brandy  should 
not  be  shipped  to  Mackinac,  and  this,  the  first  Michigan  prohibitory  law, 
was  vigorously  criticised  by  Cadillac,  who  saw  that  it  was  a  fatal  blow 
to  the  advancement  of  the  post,  as  well  as  his  own  personal  interests. 
"A  drink  of  brandy,"  he  wrote,  "after  a  repast  seems  necessary  to 
cook  the  bilious  meats  and  the  crudities  which  they  leave  on  the  stom- 
ach." He  saw  that  unless  he  could  exchange  brandy  for  furs  that  the 
Indians  would  go  to  the  English  at  Albany,  and  it  was  this  that  event- 
ually led  him  to  resign.  ^1  O  X  0  b  »> 

While  he  was  commandant  at  Mackinac  an  incident  occurred  which, 
although  not  historically  important,  reveals  some  peculiar  features  of 
the  fur  trading,  and  the  regulations  thereof  by  the  French  authorities, 
and  also  the  high  favor  with  which  Governor  -  General  Frontenac 
regarded  Cadillac.  The  account  of  the  affair  was  written  by  De  Cham- 
pigny,  the  intendant,  or  second  in  command  of  the  colony.  DeCham- 
pigny  was  an  active  enemy  of  Cadillac,  and  the  document  was  ad- 
dressed to  Count  Pontchartrain.  In  this,  as  in  "other  official  communi- 
cations,   Champigny    is    extremely    egotistic,    incredibly    verbose    and 

undisguisedly  malicious  in  his  description  of  Cadillac's  conduct  and 
motives.  No  answer  of  Cadillac  to  this  attack  is  extant,  and  De 
Champigny  only  credits  him  with  a  short  and  inadequate  defense  of  a 
few  lines.  It  appears  that  Mme.  La  Mothe  remained  with  her  children 
at  Ouebec  while  her  husband  was  at  Mackinac.  Cadillac  instructed  her 
to  send  goods  to  Mackinac  and  she  came  to  Montreal  in  1696,  and  there 
hired  two  voyageurs,  named  Moreau  and  Durand,  to  carry  a  boat  load 
of  merchandise  to  her  husband.  Their  compensation  was  to  be  two 
hundred  livres  each,  and  permission  to  take  goods  to  the  value  of  one 
hundred  livres  each  for  their  own  profit.  But  Cadillac's  wife,  says 
Champigny,  induced  the  two  traders  to  fill  two  boats  with  goods,  and 
on  these  they  also  loaded  four  or  five  hundred  livres'  worth  of  goods  on 
their  own  account.  The  goods  were  on  their  way  to  Mackinac,  but 
they  were  stopped  near  the  mouth  of  the  Ottawa  River  by  Sieur  de  la 
Touche,  the  government  commissary.  He  seized  the  extra  boat,  sold 
its  contents  by  auction,  and  realized  675  livres,  which  was  applied,  as 
in  like  cases,  to  the  hospital  at  Montreal.  On  the  same  boat  were 
forty  pots  of  brandy,  but  Moreau  claimed  that  they  were  for  the  use  of 
himself  and  Durand,  and  the  liquor  was  allowed  to  go  with  the  other 
goods.  The  boatmen  claimed  that  three  other  boats  evaded  the  vigi- 
lance of  the  commissary  and  went  up  for  Cadillac  to  Mackinac.  When 
Moreau  and  Durand  arrived  there  they  purchased  goods  to  the  value  of 
seven  thousand  livres  from  Cadillac,  and  commenced  to  trade  with  the 
Indians  A  month  afterward  Durand  wounded  a  dog  belonging  to  an 
Indian;  he  would  not  pay  for  the  injury,  and  Cadillac  confined  him  in 
a  log  jail.  Durand  was  indignant  and  sent  word  that  he  would  not  pay 
for  the  goods.  Moreau,  his  partner,  would  not  pay  it  alone  and  was 
jailed.  While  they  were  prisoners  Cadillac  searched  their  store  and 
took  out  the  goods  he  had  sold  them ;  also  those  which  belonged  to 
them,  and  also  all  their  other  property,  on  the  ground  that  they  had 
brought  more  than  the  one  hundred  livres  worth.  Released  a  few 
days  afterward,  the  two  men  borrowed  money  and  returned  to  Mon- 
treal, and  there  waited  for  reparation.  In  September,  1797,  Cadillac 
visited  Montreal  and  the  two  traders  then  commenced  an  action  against 
him.  Their  case  was  already  in  the  hands  of  De  Champigny,  and 
Cadillac  entered  his  defense,  which,  however,  is  very  inadequately 
stated.  The  parties  agreed  to  arbitrate  their  difference  before  two  mer- 
chants of  Ouebec.  New  disputes  arose  and  De  Champigny  was  asked 
by  Moreau  for  an  inquiry  into  the  value  of  the  goods,  which  he  referred 


to  Dupiiy,  the  "local  lieutenant  of  the  provostship  of  Quebec,"  But 
Cadillac  opposed  the  submitting-  of  the  value  to  an  inquiry,  because  he 
suspected  that  it  was  for  the  purpose  of  valuing  the  goods  he  had 
taken  at  the  same  rate  at  which  they  had  been  disposed  of  to  the  Sioux 

"  I  was  ordered  to  prevent  trade  with  the  Sioux  by  Count  Frontenac," 
he  said,  "and  such  trade  was  illegal." 

Moreau  retorted  by  saying  that  Cadillac  himself  had  sent  goods  to 
the  Sioux  country.  Dupuy  was  about  making  up  his  decision  in  favor 
of  Moreau  when  he  was  summoned  before  Frontenac,  who  said  in 
effect  that  he  was  about  to  contravene  his  authority  by  the  dictation  of 
Champigny,  and  sent  him  to  prison,  where  he  remained  two  days.  The 
two  arbitrators  discreetly  resigned  from  the  case  a  few  days  afterward. 
Moreau  then  sent  in  another  petition,  which  De  Champigny  sent  to  the 
Supreme  Council,  which  was  composed  of  the  governor,  intendant  and 
bishop.  But  Cadillac  followed  with  two  other  petitions,  one  that  In 
tendant  Champigny  should  not  consider  the  matter,  and  the  other  that 
it  should  be  referred  to  the  provost  at  Quebec.  Champigny  here  inter- 
polates that  the  provost  of  Quebec  was  the  god-father  of  Cadillac's 
wife.  It  was  then  demanded  that  the  case  should  be  tried  before  the 
Supreme  Council,  whereupon  Cadillac  said  he  would  appeal  to  the  king 
Frontenac,  however,  came  to  the  council,  and  objected  to  any  course 
which  would  deprive  Cadillac  of  his  appeal  to  the  king,  and  after  more 
talk  it  was  resolved  to  dismiss  the  whole  case.  De  Champigny  then 
announced  that  he  would  try  the  case  again,  but  Frontenac  said  he  had 
exceeded  his  authority.  The  intendant  took  up  the  case  again  and 
sentenced  Cadillac  to  pay  three  sums  aggregating  2,565  livres  to 
Moreau,  but  next  day  Governor  Frontenac  annulled  the  decree  and 
Cadillac,  according  to  the  sporting  phrase,  "won  out." 

In  connection  with  the  above  it  may  be  stated  that  the  French  meas- 
ures of  capacity  in  those  times  were  as  follows:  Two  chopines  made 
one  pint;  one  pint  equaled  one  and  two  thirds  pints  (English  measure); 
two  pints  made  one  pot,  or  French  quart;  thirty-two  pots  made  one 
barrel.  A  roquille  was  a  small  measure  corresponding  to  an  English 
gill  and  was  one  fourth  of  a  chopine,  or  one-eighth  of  a  pint.  The 
money  of  the  time  was  as  follows:  A  sol  or  sou  was  about  equal  in 
value  to  a  cent  of  United  States  currency;  the  livre  (afterward  franc) 
contained  twenty  sols;  a  crown  contained  six  livres;  a  pistole,  which 
was  a  Spanish  coin,  was  equivalent  to  about  twenty  livres,  or  about  $4. 


During-  his  residence  at  Mackinac,  the  English  and  Iroquois  were 
continuously  invading  his  territory,  and  Cadillac  became  convinced  that 
France's  interest,  as  well  as  his  own,  would  be  subserved  by  a  fort  and 
trading  station,  at  a  point  where  the  French  could  better  compete  with 
the  English  and  the  Iroquois,  and  that  the  straits  between  Lake  Erie 
and  Huron  was  the  proper  place.  After  formulating  his  plans  he  re- 
quested Governor  Frontenac  to  recall  him,  which  request  was  granted. 
At  Quebec  a  memorial  was  drawn  up  and  sent  to  King  Louis  XIV,  and 
it  is  said  that  Cadillac  went  there  in  person  to  urge  its  adoption.  Mean- 
while his  friend.  Governor  Frontenac,  died  on  June  13,  1698,  and  De 
Callieres  was  appointed  governor.  On  May  27,  1699,  the  king  sent 
Cadillac's  memorial  to  the  new  governor  to  report  on  the  expediency 
of  the  plan.  De  Callieres  answered  that  Cadillac's  plan  was  not  practi- 
cal; that  the  re  establishment  and  repairing  of  old  forts  then  in  exist- 
ence was  much  better;  that  the  proposed  fort  was  too  near  the  forces 
of  the  Iroquois  and  the  English  in  Northern  New  York;  therefore,  that 
a  settlement  there  might  be  short  lived.  But  Cadillac  argued  in  turn 
that  a  fort  at  Detroit  would  be  far  better  than  the  one  at  Mackinac,  for 
it  would  prevent  the  British  and  Iroquois  from  entering  the  region  of 
the  straits,  which  was  the  gateway  of  the  upper  country ;  and  that  the 
right  way  of  surmounting  opposition  was  to  meet  it  boldly  and  not  re- 
tire before  it.  The  king  and  his  ministers  admired  Cadillac's  boldness 
and  audacity,  and  he  was  given  a  commission  to  prepare  for  the  ex- 
pedition, a  grant  of  twenty-five  square  arpents  or  acres,  for  the  site  of 
the  fort  he  might  select,  together  with  other  privileges  as  a  command- 
ant, and  15,000  livres  for  the  construction  of  the  fort.  Cadillac  returned 
to  Quebec  and  at  once  began  his  preparations.  There  was  good  reason 
for  haste;  the  Iroquois  had  heard  of  the  projected  settlement  and  sent 
envoys  to  De  Callieres  to  protest  against  what  they  considered  an  in- 
vasion of  their  rights  and  territory.  A  conference  between  the  gov- 
ernor and  the  head  men  of  the  confederacy  was  held  at  Quebec,  on  May 
5,  1701.  Callieres's  arguments  were  mainly  that  he  did  not  intend  by 
this  expedition  to  deprive  the  Iroquois  of  their  lands  or  other  rights. 
"  The  English  "  he  said,  "  are  moving  on  de  Troit  or  the  straits,  with 
the  object  of  monopolizing  the  fur  trade,  and  we  must  do  something  to 
prevent  it."  In  reply  to  further  discussion  in  which  the  chief  claimed 
that  the  lands  were  the  hunting  ground  of  the  Iroquois,  he  said,  "It 
does  not  belong  to  the  Iroquois;  it  belongs  to  my  master,  the  great 
father  in  France.     We  intend  to  do  with  it   as  he  pleases."     Other  re- 


quests  they  made  regarding  trade  were  acceded  to  and  the  conference 

De  Callieres  knew,  however,  that  the  Iroquois  might  possibly  try  to 
penetrate  their  plans  and,  after  consultation,  Cadillac  was  directed  to 
take  the  Ottawa  River  route.  This  was  chosen  in  preference  to  the 
route  by  the  St.  Lawrence  and  Lakes  Ontario  and  Erie,  by  which  La 
Salle  reached  the  straits  and  the  upper  country,  because  the  expedition 
might  then  be  seen  and  attacked  by  the  Iroquois. 

The  progress  of  the  expedition  and  the  founding  of  Detroit  have  been 
related  in  the  first  chapter  of  this  book. 


Indians  and  Coureurs  de  Bois — Characteristics  of  the  Indians  and  of  the  Half- 
Wild  Voyageurs,  Who  Were  the  First  Commercial  Travelers  in  America — 1660-1760. 

The  Indians  were  such  an  important  factor  in  the  great  problem  of 
European  colonization,  as  well  as  in  the  early  history  of  Detroit,  that  a 
brief  Yesume  of  their  history,  attitude  and  characteristics  is  necessary 
to  give  a  thorough  understanding  of  the  situation.  In  the  northern 
part  of  this  continent,  principally  in  the  region  of  the  great  chain  of 
lakes  and  their  tributary  rivers,  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  extremity  of 
Lake  Michigan,  the  red  men  generally  belonged  to  three  confederacies 
— the  Algonquins,  the  Hurons  or  Wyandots,  and  the  Iroquois  or  Five 

The  Algonquins  were  numerous  and  powerful,  and  their  himting 
grounds  were  mostly  in  Canada,  from  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Lawrence 
and  the  shores  of  Lake  Ontario  to  the  Niagara  River.  They  were 
tillers  of  the  soil  as  well  as  hunters,  and  were  the  same  kindred  stock 
as  the  Hurons.  The  Algonquin  confederacy  included  104  distinct 
organized  nations  or  tribes,  and  the  seat  of  its  power  was  on  the  south- 
eastern shore  of  Lake  Superior.  Its  leading  nations  on  the  west  were 
the  Chippewas,  Creeks,  Ottawas,  Potawatamies  and  Miamis;  in  the 
east  the  Abinakis,  the  Micmacs,  the  Mohegans  and  the  New  England 
and  Virginia  tribes ;  and  also  several  nations  in  the  South.  Some  of 
the  southern  nations  of  the  confederacy  were  ultimately  wiped  out  or 


subdued  by  the  Iroquois,  but  those  who  had  not  been  conquered  were 
deadly  enemies  of  the  latter. 

The  Hurons,  who  were  also  kinsmen  of  the  Iroquois,  inhabited  the 
country  bordering  on  the  Ottawa  River,  from  the  Algonquin  frontier  to 
the  shores  of  Lake  Huron.  They  were  deadly  foes  of  the  Iroquois  and 
were  finally  driven  from  their  hunting  grounds  and  destroyed  as  a  con- 
federacy. The  Hurons  were  so  named  by  the  French,  because  of  the 
manner  in  which  they  wore  their  hair,  which  was  rough  and  stood  up 
like  the  bristles  of  the  "hure"— wild  boar.  Cheveux  releves — "with 
hair  standing  up  " — was  another  name  bestowed  on  them  by  Cham- 
plain.  Among  themselves,  or  with  other  Indians,  the  Hurons  were 
styled  Ouendato,  anglicized  into  Wyandots. 

The  Iroquois  or  Five  Nations,  the  most  numerous  and  warlike  of  the 
three,  lived  principally  on  the  southern  side  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  in 
what  is  now  the  State  of  New  York,  north  and  west  of  the  Kaalzbergs 
and  south  of  the  Adirondacks.  Some  of  their  villages  were  on  the 
shores  of  Lake  Champlain,  but  no  accurate  boundary  line  of  their  ter- 
ritory or  that  of  the  Algonquins  or  Hurons  can  be  given,  as  they  va- 
ried from  time  to  time  according  to  the  fortunes  of  war.  The  Five 
Nations  were  the  Mohawks,  Oneidas,  Onondagas,  Cayugas  and  Sene- 
cas.  In  1714  they  were  joined  by  the  remnants  of  the  Tuscaroras,  and 
were  afterward  known  as  the  Six  Nations.  At  that  time  their  total 
number  was  estimated  at  11,650,  including  2,150  warriors.  Tradition 
says  that  the  Iroquois  were  formed  into  a  league  by  Hiawatha,  the  In- 
dian incarnation  of  wisdom,  about  the  beginning  of  the  fifteenth  cent- 
ury. They  were  divided  into  about  forty  tribes,  each  ruled  by  a 
sachem.  The  latter  had  an  equal  voice  in  the  councils  of  the  confeder- 
acy, which  were  held  at  the  capital  of  the  Onondagas,  a  few  miles 
south  of  what  is  now  Syracuse,  N.  Y.  The  central  authority  was  a 
president,  and  the  women  were  allowed  a  voice  in  their  legislative 
councils.  Champlain,  the  governor  of  New  France,  found  them  at  war 
with  the  Canada  Indians,  and  other  nations  from  Lake  Huron  to  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico,  in  which  they  were  generally  successful.  With  the 
Algonquins  and  Hurons  on  his  side,  he  fought  them  on  Lake  Cham- 
plain in  1609,  and  from  that  time  the  Iroquois  generally  fought  the 
French  and  their  Indian  allies  in  Canada  for  about  sixty  years.  The 
Iroquois  had  made  several  treaties  with  the  English  before  that  year, 
but  the  results  were  generally  unsatisfactory.  By  the  influence  of  Sir 
William  Johnson,  the  English  Indian  commissioner,  they  fought  against 



the  French  in  1755,  four  years  before  the  power  of  the  latter  country- 
was  extinguished  in  the  North  and  Northwest  by  the  capture  of  Que- 
bec. In  1763  some  of  them  joined  their  ancient  Indian  foes  in  Pon- 
tiac's  conspiracy,  and  aided  the  great  Ottawa  in  besieging  the  English 
post  of  Detroit.  In  the  war  of  the  Revolution  all  the  Iroquois  except 
the  Oneidas  and  Tuscaroras  embraced  the  side  of  the  English,  and  led 
by  Joseph  Brant,  the  great  Mohawk  chief,  they  desolated  the  Mohawk, 
Cherry  and  Wyoming  valleys  in  New  York  and  Pennsylvania  and  mas- 
sacred the  settlers.  After  the  close  of  the  war  a  majority  of  the  Iro- 
quois removed  to  Canada,  as  they  apprehended  that  the  Americans 
would  take  vengeance  upon  them  for  aiding  the  English,  but  the  Oneidas 
and  Tuscaroras  remained.  Their  descendants  now  number  about 
3,000,  half  of  whom  are  in  the  State  of  New  York,  and  the  remainder 
in  other  States  and  Canada. 

All  the  Indians  in  North  America  had  nearly  the  same  characteristics ; 
they  were  proud,  haughty  and  taciturn,  despised  volubility,  and  were 
sententious  in  conversation  and  debate,  except  in  set  rhetorical  efforts, 
in  which  their  best  speakers  often  rose  to  poetic  heights  and  displayed 
a  wealth  of  imagination  and  great  dignity  and  beauty  of  expression. 
They  were  sagacious  in  penetrating  motives,  persevering  in  all  their 
undertakings,  superstitious  in  the  last  degree,  revengeful  and  cruel  in 
war,  stoical  under  pain  and  hardship  and  indolent  except  in  war  and 
the  chase.  A  young  Indian's  future  prospects  depended  upon  his  suc- 
cess in  killing  his  personal  enemies  and  the  enemies  of  his  tribe.  He 
was  not  considered  as  having  arrived  at  the  condition  of  manhood  until 
he  had  carved  out  a  reputation  for  personal  prowess  with  his  tomahawk 
and  scalping  knife.  The  maidens  would  repel  his  advances  if  he  had 
taken  no  scalps. 

The  wampum  belt  was  invariably  used  by  the  Indians  in  their  nego- 
tiations, either  with  their  own  race  or  with  the  white  men.  At  first  it 
consisted  of  shells  of  diiTerent  kinds,  piered  with  holes,  and  strung  to- 
gether with  thongs  of  deerskin.  It  consisted  of  several  strings,  each 
being  called  a  fathom,  and  several  fathoms  made  a  belt.  Later,  a  por- 
celain imitation  of  the  shells  was  introduced,  which  served  the  same 
purpose.  When  one  tribe  sent  a  messenger  to  another  tribe,  a  belt  of 
wampum  was  always  carried  as  an  evidence  of  good  faith  as  well  as 
courtesy.  When  treaties  were  made,  a  belt  was  handed  over  as  each 
article  was  agreed  to,  and  this  was  considered  as  a  solemn  ratification. 
The  belts  were  in  such  constant  use  that  in  New  England   they  passed 


as  money,  and  a  fathom  varied  in  price  from  $1.25  to  $2,  according  to 
the  value  of  the  shells. 

In  dealing  with  the  aborigines  the  traders  frequently  defrauded  them, 
and  it  was  in  the  very  nature  of  the  savages  to  settle  the  account  at  the 
first  favorable  opportunity.  When  Major  Waldo,  of  Maine,  who  had 
sold  goods  to  the  Indians,  fell  into  their  power,  they  reminded  him  of 
his  habit  of  thrusting  one  hand  into  the  scales  for  a  pound  weight,  and 
then  proceeded  to  cut  off  his  fingers.  "  Waldo,"  he  was  asked  after 
the  cruel  act  was  done,  *'  does  your  hand  weigh  a  pound  now?"  Trad- 
ers were  often  the  earliest  victims  of  Indian  wars,  and  some  were  killed 
in  the  lake  country  after  Cadillac's  arrival  at  Detroit.  Women,  except 
perhaps  among  the  Iroquois,  occupied  a  degraded  state,  being  com- 
pelled to  do  the  work  of  cultivating  the  Indian  corn,  boiling  the  maple 
sap,  cooking,  etc.,  and  were  mere  slaves  to  their  lordly  mates. 

For  ages  before  the  white  man  came  to  this  continent  the  aborigines 
fought  and  slaughtered  each  other,  and  later,  when  the  representatives 
of  a  European  power  came  among  them  and  sought  to  acquire  land  or 
advantages  in  trade,  the  obvious  course  for  the  white  man  to  pursue 
was  to  espouse  the  quarrels  of  one  Indian  nation  against  another.  In 
all  wars  between  white  principals,  French  and  Spanish,  French  and 
English,  or  English  and  American,  there  was  always  an  Indian  con- 
tingent on  each  side.  When  the  Spaniards  discovered  and  slaughtered 
the  French  Huguenots  in  Florida,  they  each  had  Indian  allies.  The 
French  governors  of  New  France  could  gain  the  alliance  of  both  the 
Hurons  and  Algonquins,  because  these  confederacies  were  generally  in 
peaceful  relations  with  each  other,  but  that  precluded  any  friendship 
with  the  Iroquois,  and  so  the  French  had  to  fight  with  the  two  former 
against  their  implacable  foes  on  the  south  side  of  the  St.  Lawrence. 
For  the  same  reasons  the  Iroquois  generally  espoused  the  cause  of  the 
English  against  the  French.  The  red  man,  'however,  irrespective  of 
kinship  or  confederacy,  generally  looked  out  for  his  own  advantage ; 
he  was  crafty  and  discriminating,  and  seldom  allowed  sentiment  to  in- 
terfere with  his  interests.  In  this  region  it  was  always  a  three- sided 
game  for  gain,  the  French  and  English  each  trying  to  influence  the 
aborigines  by  cajolery,  threats  and  presents,  in  order  to  gain  control  of 
the  fur  trade,  while  the  Indian  coolly  weighed  the  respective  proposi- 
tions, accepted  those  deemed  most  desirable,  and  meanwhile  en- 
deavored to  hold  the  balance  of  power.  No  money  passed  in  trade;  it 
was  all   barter.     The  red   man  had  his  peltries  gained  by  long  and 


fatiguing  excursions  in  the  forest,  and  the  French  and  English  had 
guns,  powder,  ball,  scalping  knives,  axes,  kettles,  beads,  blankets,  pro- 
visions and  rum  or  brandy,  but  in  the  exchange  the  Indian  had  always 
the  worst  of  the  trade.  The  aborigines  joined  either  side  and  fought, 
scalped,  tortured  or  burned  white  and  red  human  beings  of  all  ages  and 
sexes,  with  perfect  impartiality,  if  rewarded  with  sufficient  supplies  of 
these  articles  of  merchandise.  Wherever  the  fur  trade  extended  in 
New  France  or  New  England,  rum  and  brandy  followed,  and  the 
strong  drink  ever  brought  misery  and  ruin  to  the  aboriginal  population. 
The  labors  of  the  Jesuits,  or  the  Protestant  divines  that  came  later, 
could  do  no  more  than  alleviate  these  evils.  The  terrible  scourge 
of  the  small-pox,  which  broke  out  in  the  country  northwest  of  Lake 
Superior  in  1782,  was  scarcely  more  fatal  to  the  natives,  though  more 
rapid  and  striking  in  its  effects,  than  the  power  of  ardent  spirits.  Furs 
were  gleaned  with  an  iron  hand  and  rum  was  given  out  with  an  iron 
heart.  Beavers  were  sought  with  a  thirst  of  gain  as  great  as  that 
which  carried  Cortez  to  Mexico  and  Pizarro  to  Peru,  and  no  mines  of 
the  precious  metals  which  the  world  has  ever  produced  were  more  pro- 
ductive of  wealth  than  the  fur  yielding  region  of  America.  About 
1701,  however,  the  beaver  lost  its  supremacy  in  the  European  markets 
for  a  time,  but  the  demand  for  other  choice  furs  continued  unabated. 

Had  the  Indians  on  this  contment  made  joint  resistance  to  the  white 
invader,  it  is  very  probable  that  European  colonization  would  have  been 
delayed  for  centuries,  but  the  Indian  intellect  was  too  narrow  and  the 
Indian  temperament  too  passionate.  The  red  man  could  not  submerge 
his  hates  and  prejudices,  and  thereby  rise  to  the  grander  heights  of 
race  association  for  a  common  cause.  But  two  instances  of  Indian  as- 
sociation as  a  race  against  the  whites  can  be  cited,  and  these  were  both 
failures.  King  Philip,  son  of  Massassoit,  who  ruled  in  Massachusetts, 
Connecticut  and  adjoining  colonies,  formed  a  combination  with  the  Nar- 
ragansetts  in  1675  to  drive  out  the  English.  The  war  raged  for  about 
two  years  and  ended  with  the  killing  of  Philip  and  the  destruction  of 
the  allied  tribes.  The  other  was  the  well  known  conspiracy  of  Pontiac 
in  1763,  which  failed  as  much  by  the  splendid  resistance  of  the  white 
man,  as  by  the  want  of  coherence  among  the  savages. 

Cannibalism  was  sometime  practiced  by  nearly  all  the  Indians,  as 
late  as  the  eighteenth  century,  and  there  is  a  tradition  of  a  case  of  man- 
eating  in  Detroit  as  late  as  1763.  But  there  is  no  record  of  human 
flesh  being  used  by  the  aborigines  as  regular  diet — it  was  only  the 


bodies  of  enemies  that  were  devoured.  When  Governor-General  De- 
nonville  vanquished  the  Seneca  tribe  of  the  Iroquois  confederacy  in 
1687,  he  was  horrified  to  see  his  Ottawa  allies  cut  up  and  boil  the  bod- 
ies of  twenty-five  Senecas  and  eat  them  with  relish.  The  case  of  man- 
eating  in  Detroit  was  vouched  for  by  the  late  James  W.  Knaggs,  who 
related  it  to  the  writer  in  this  city  in  1893,  as  follows:  "  Whitmore 
Knaggs,  my  father,  was  born  in  Detroit  in  1763,  the  same  year  in  which 
Pontiac  tried  to  cany  out  his  famous  plan  of  driving  the  English  out  of 
Detroit  and  the  other  forts  on  the  western  frontier.  July  31,  1763,  a  party 
of  the  Detroit  garrison,  under  Captain  Dalzell,  made  a  sortie  at  Bloody 
Run,  about  two  miles  above  the  fort,  and  were  defeated  by  Pontiac 
with  great  loss.  After  his  triumph,  Pontiac  invited  the  leading  French 
residents,  including  Peter  Descompte  Labadie,  who  was  the  father  of 
my  mother,  to  a  grand  feast  in  honor  of  the  victory.  There  was 
plenty  of  fish,  flesh  and  fowl,  but  no  liquors.  After  the  feast  was  over 
Pontiac  said  to  Labadie,  '  How  did  you  like  the  meat  ? '  'It  was  very 
good  young  beef,  was  it  not?'  answerd  my  grandfather.  'Come  here 
and  I  will  show  you  what  you  have  eaten,'  said  Pontiac.  He  opened  a 
sack  that  was  lying  on  the  ground  behind  him  and  took  out  the  bloody 
head  of  an  English  soldier,  holding  it  up  by  the  hair.  '  There's  the 
young  beef,'  he  added  with  a  grin.  Labadie  took  one  look,  his  stom- 
ach turned  and  he  immediately  ejected  everything  he  had  eaten.  The 
dusky  warriors  jeered  at  him  and  said  he  was  nothing  but  an  old 
squaw.  This  story  I  often  heard  Grandfather  Labadie  tell  to  strangers 
and  friends.  He  described  the  young  beef  as  very  tender  and  appe- 
tizing until  Pontiac's  revelation." 

The  coiireiirs  de  bois,  bushlopers  or  rangers  of  the  woods,  were  also  a 
notable  factor  in  the  scheme  of  European  colonization.  At  first  there 
was  a  great  deal  of  private  trading  with  the  Indians.  To  check  irreg- 
ularities the  French  governors  granted  licenses  to  private  traders,  for 
which  a  fine  was  paid;  these  traders  at  first  were  superannuated  French 
army  officers,  who  were  given  the  privilege  in  return  for  past  services. 
In  1688  the  number  was  only  twenty-five,  but  the  permits  to  trade  be- 
came negotiable  paper  and  a  great  many  social  outcasts  acquired  them. 
Those  who  were  not  half-breeds  were  generally  of  French  birth,  but 
by  living  with  the  Indians  had  virtually  become  uncivilized.  Some- 
times they  were  agents  of  the  great  companies  who  acted  under  grants 
from  the  French  crown,  but  oftener  they  were  their  own  masters.  At 
first  they  were  named  as  above:  coureurs  de  bois,  but  afterward  they 


were  called  merchant  voyagers  and  a  few  of  them,  notably  Duluth,  at- 
tained some  prominence. 

The  savages  loved  ardent  spirits  and  when  under  its  spell  would  be 
more  liberal  in  trading,  and  so  the  stock  of  the  coureurs  de  bois  always 
included  a  liberal  supply  of  that  demoralizing  drink.  They  transported 
it  with  other  goods  in  canoes,  through  the  lakes  and  rivers  of  the  North 
and  West,  and  over  difficult  portages,  to  their  destination  in  the  Indian 
country.  When  they  reached  their  trading  places  they  were  a  law  unto 
themselves,  and,  far  removed  from  ecclesiastical  and  judicial  authority, 
they  were  legislators  and  judges  in  the  wilderness.  It  is  needless  to 
say  that  their  influence  was  altogether  for  evil.  The  better  side  of  their 
character  was  their  dexterity  in  hunting  and  trapping,  their  knowledge 
of  the  languages  and  customs  of  the  Indian  tribes,  and  their  affability 
and  gayety,  which  made  them  popular  with  the  red  men.  These  qual- 
ities rendered  their  services  extremely  valuable  as  agents  of  the  French 
merchants.  They  were  a  hardy  race,  strong,  muscular  and  well  formed, 
and  dead  shots  with  the  rifle.  They  were  neither  pagans  nor  Chris- 
tians, and  knew  enough  of  the  Indian  and  French  religions  to  be  re- 
gardless of  either.  Their  ordinary  dress  was  a  moleton  or  blanket 
coat,  a  red  cap,  a  belt  of  cloth  passed  over  the  middle  of  their  bodies 
and  a  loose  shirt.  Sometimes  on  their  voyages  through  the  lakes  and 
rivers  they  wore  a  brown  coat  or  cloak,  with  a  cape  that  could  be  drawn 
over  their  heads  like  a  hood.  At  other  times  they  wore  elkskin  trou- 
sers, the  seams  of  which  were  ornamented  with  fringes,  a  surtout  of 
coarse  blue  cloth  reaching  to  the  calf  of  the  leg,  a  worsted  sash  of 
scarlet  fastened  around  the  waist,  in  which  was  stuck  a  broad  knife 
which  was  used  to  dissect  the  animals  taken  in  hunting,  and  moccasins 
made  of  buckskin. 

It  is  doubtful  if  the  small  companies  of  explorers  and  traders  who 
led  the  way  into  the  American  wilderness,  among  the  bloodthirsty 
savages,  would  have  had  the  courage  or  the  ability  to  make  the  ven- 
ture had  it  not  been  for  their  reliance  upon  firearms.  Although  the 
savages  were  presently  supplied  with  guns  and  ammunition  by  the 
traders,  the  greater  part  of  their  guns  were  very  crude  weapons,  made 
especially  for  such  patrons.  White  men  were  always  the  superior 
marksmen,  but  the  accuracy  and  range  of  the  old  time  musket  was 
fearfully  exaggerated  in  the  romances  of  pioneer  days.  In  the  famous 
"  Leatherstocking  Tales  "  the  shooting  described  by  the  imaginative 
Mr.  Cooper  is  far  beyond  the  fondest  dreams  of  modern  riflemen,  who 


are  provided  with  weapons  of  fivefold  range  and  threefold  accuracy,  to 
say  nothing-  of  the  wonderful  improvements  in  ammunition  and  in  the 
sighting  of  guns.  Military  rifles  now  have  a  range  of  about  3,000 
yards ;  they  are  bored  and  rifled  with  mathematical  precision  by  costly 
machinery,  and  are  fired  instantaneously  by  percussion  primers  as  soon 
as  the  hammer  is  released.  In  Cadillac's  time  the  common  arm  was 
the  smooth-bore  musket  or  arquebus.  The  barrels  were  of  plain  iron 
and  made  very  heavy  as  a  precaution  against  bursting,  and  were  very 
long,  as  it  was  believed  that  extreme  length  of  barrel  tended  to  greater 
accuracy  and  range.  The  powder  was  poor  stuff  compared  with  mod- 
ern powders,  and  the  bullets  were  cast  by  hand  in  moulds.  If  there 
was  considerable  difference  between  the  diameter  of  the  bore  and  the 
diameter  of  the  bullet,  a  fit  was  secured  by  using  a  patch  of  leather 
of  the  required  thickness.  Calibers  were  not  rated  by  millimeters  or 
hundredths  of  an  inch,  but  by  the  number  of  balls  required  to  weigh 
one  pound.  To  operate  one  of  the  guns  the  hunter  or  soldier  poured 
out  a  charge  of  powder  from  his  powder  horn  into  the  palm  of  his 
hand,  and  emptied  it  into  the  muzzle  of  the  gun.  Selecting  a  bullet 
from  his  pouch,  he  applied  a  greased  patch  of  cloth  or  buckskin  over 
the  muzzle  of  the  gun,  and  placing  the  bullet  on  top,  drove  it  home 
wath  his  long  ramrod.  At  the  breech  a  hollow  plug  was  let  into  the 
barrel,  and  attached  to  this  was  a  powder  pan  covered  with  a  hinged 
plate  of  steel;  the  hammer  of  the  gun  had  jaws  for  holding  a  piece  of 
flint.  After  the  gun  had  been  loaded  the  hunter  poured  a  little  pow- 
der into  the  priming  pan,  cocked  his  piece  and  took  aim.  At  the 
descent  of  the  hammer  there  would  be  a  shower  of  sparks  from  the 
flint,  a  dazzling  flash  from  the  powder  in  the  pan,  and  the  gun  would 
go  off  with  a  great  racket.  The  range  at  which  any  degree  of  accuracy 
could  be  obtained  was  about  two  hundred  yards;  this  was  later  in- 
creased to  five  hundred  yards  when  the  long  Kentucky  rifle  came  into 
general  use.  In  these  days  of  better  weapons,  a  wise  man  would  hesi- 
tate before  he  would  risk  his  life  in  the  wilderness  with  no  better  pro- 
tection than  such  guns  as  Cadillac's  followers  possessed.  Yet  the  skill 
acquired  by  the  early  pioneers  in  the  use  of  their  arms  was  little  short 
of  marvelous.  Such  guns  and  an  occasional  rifle  (for  the  rifle  had  not 
yet  come  into  general  use)  were  the  offensive  and  defensive  arms  of 
the  pioneers.  They  also  provided  his  table  with  its  supply  of  meat. 
When  the  savages  attacked  in  such  force  that  the  home  of  the  settler 
could  no  longer  be  defended  by  the  small  arms  of  the  household,   the 


entire  population  of  the  settlement  took  refuge  in  the  fort  with  its  log 
stockade,  its  blockhouses  and  its  projecting  bastions  armed  with  small 
cannon.  Heavy  artillery,  whether  loaded  with  three,  four,  or  six 
pound  shot,  or  with  bolts  and  scrap  iron,  always  commanded  the 
respect  of  the  savages.  The  thundering  report  was  nearly  as  effective 
as  the  flying  missiles  in  awing  them. 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  evolution  of  artillery  had  not  proceeded  far, 
for  the  beginning  of  the  firearms  was  a  small  cannon  supported  on  a 
hand  staff  and  exploded  by  applying"  a  piece  of  burning  tow  or  a  match. 
Then  came  the  matchlock,  which  on  pulling  the  trigger  applied  a  piece 
of  burning  wick  to  the  powder  at  the  vent.  Following  this  came  the 
Dutch  invention  called  the  wheel  lock  or  fire  lock,  which  ignited  the 
powder  by  rotating  a  toothed  wheel  of  steel  against  a  piece  of  soft  iron, 
and  the  next  step  was  the  flint  lock,  which  held  supremacy  for  gener- 
ations, and  which  was  used  exclusively  at  the  battle  of  Waterloo  in  1815. 


What  the  Pioneers  Found  at  Detroit — Events  Contemporaneous  with  the  Found- 
ing of  the  City — Description  of  the  Fauna  and  Flora  of  the  Region  as  Described  in 
Ancient  Reports— 1701-1703. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century,  while  Detroit  was  being 
founded,  a  fever  of  speculation,  adventure  and  war  possessed  Eastern 
Europe.  Spain,  after  losing  her  great  Armada,  steadily  declined  in 
power.  Under  the  Duke  of  Alva  she  had  seized  and  drenched  in  blood 
the  Netherlands,  but  most  of  the  provinces  had  now  thrown  off  her 
yoke  and  had  established  the  Dutch  Republic.  The  small  portion  of 
the  Netherlands  remaining  to  her  was  about  to  be  lost  in  the  war  of 
the  Spanish  Succession.  Charles  II,  the  last  of  the  Spanish  Haps- 
burgs,  had  died  childless,  and  to  secure  the  support  of  France,  Philip 
of  Anjou,  grandson  of  Louis  XIV,  had  been  called  to  the  throne.  Eng- 
land and  the  Netherlands  opposed  this  union  of  interests,  and  Austria 
wanted  another  Hapsburg  prince  crowned  in  Spain.  The  three  made 
war  upon  Spain  in  1701,  and  this  conflict,  which  was  called  the  war  of 
the  Spanish  Succession,  lasted  eight  years,  during  which  the  Spanish 


population  was  reduced  from  9,000,000  to  less  than  6,000,000.  Charles 
XII  of  Sweden  had  just  humbled  Denmark  and  had  given  the  Russians 
under  Peter  the  Great  an  inglorious  defeat,  although  outnumbered  five 
to  one.  He  was  advancing  upon  Poland  and  Saxony  in  1701,  Fred- 
eric, the  Prussian  elector,  gave  considerable  money  and  loaned  10,000 
troops  to  Austria  to  fight  in  the  war  with  Spain,  and  his  reward  was 
the  crown  of  Prussia,  which  was  erected  into  a  kingdom  through  the  in- 
fluence of  Austria  and  England.  The  Duke  of  Marlborough  and  Prince 
Eugene  of  Savoy  were  starting  out  on  the  series  of  splendid  cam- 
paigns against  Spain  and  France,  in  which  they  achieved  immortal 
glory.  Under  such  pressing  demands  for  troops  and  money  in  Europe, 
the  countries  having  colonies  were  compelled  for  the  most  part  to  let 
them  shift  for  themselves. 

In  1701  William  Kidd,  the  famous  pirate  chief,  closed  his  career  on 
the  gallows  in  the  city  of  London.  He  was  a  Scotch  navigator  who  in 
his  earlier  days  did  splendid  service  for  Great  Britain,  and  the  colony 
of  New  York  had  given  him  a  present  of  ;^150  in  token  of  its  appreci- 
ation. But  love  of  adventure  lured  him  to  ruin,  and  from  preying  on 
Spanish  commerce  he  soon  developed  into  a  scourge  of  the  seas.  New 
England  witchcraft  was  beginning  to  die  out ;  after  torturing  fifty-five 
persons  to  make  them  confess  that  they  were  witches,  and  hanging 
twenty  poor  old  women  for  having  an  alleged  intimacy  with  Satan,  the 
people  of  Salem,  Mass.,  were  just  awakening  from  their  trance  of 
superstition.  Such  were  the  conditions  in  Europe  and  the  new  world, 
when  Cadillac  pitched  his  camp  on  the  bank  of  Detroit  River. 

The  founding  of  the  new  settlement  in  the  western  wilderness  re- 
quired all  the  more  hardihood  since  it  was  evident  that  the  govern- 
ment of  France  could  give  it  but  little  aid.  The  ofificers  who  came 
with  Captain  Cadillac  were  Capt.  Alphonse  de  Tonty,  a'  younger 
brother  of  Henry  de  Tonty,  the  companion  of  La  Salle,  who  was  next 
in  command;  two  lieutenants,  Chacornacle  and  Dugue;  a  sergeant 
named  Jacob  I'Ommesprou  de  Mersac;  and  Antoine,  eldest  son  and 
namesake  of  Cadillac,  then  nine  years  of  age,  who  was  appointed  en- 
sign in  1707,  when  he  was  sixteen  years  of  age.  Jacob  Mersac,  like 
several  of  the  other  soldiers,  received  a  grant  of  land  near  the  fort, 
which  was  afterward  known  as  the  Mersac  farm,  and  tradition  tells  that 
in  after  years  when  engaged  in  plowing  he  always  wore  his  sword  by  his 
side.  Jean  and  Francois  Fafard,  were  the  Indian  interpreters.  Two 
priests,  Nicholas  Constantine  del  Halle,  a  Recollect  of  the  Franciscan 


order,  and  Francis  Vaillant  de  Gueslis,  a  Jesuit,  also  came  with  the  ex- 
pedition to  afford  the  consolation  of  relig-ion  to  the  little  colony,  the 
former  as  chaplain  and  the  latter  as  Indian  missionary.  Cadillac  did 
not  wish  to  have  Jesuits  around  him,  but  the  influence  of  the  superior 
of  the  order  at  Quebec  was  too  strong  to  be  overcome.  In  a  letter  to 
De  Callieres,  written  twelve  days  after  his  landing,  he  described  the 
scenery  and  other  advantages  of  the  new  settlement  in  a  comprehen- 
sive and  even  poetic  vein. 

"The  Detroit/'  he  says,  "is  only  a  canal  or  river  of  moderate 
breadth  and  twenty-five  leagues  in  length,  through  which  the  sparkling 
and  pellucid  waters  of  Lakes  Superior,  Michigan  and  Huron  (which  are 
so  many  seas  of  sweet  water),  flow  and  glide  away  gently  and  with  a 
moderate  current  into  Lake  Erie,  in  the  Ontario  or  Frontenac,  and  go 
at  last  to  mingle  in  the  River  St.  Lawrence  with  those  of  the  ocean. 
The  banks  are  so  many  vast  meadows  where  the  freshness  of  those 
beautiful  streams  keeps  the  grass  always  green;  these  same  meadows 
are  fringed  with  long  and  broad  avenues  of  fruit  trees,  which  have 
never  felt  the  careful  hand  of  the  watchful  gardener;  and  the  fruit 
trees,  young  and  old,  droop  under  the  weight  and  multitude  of  their 
delicious  burden,  and  bend  their  branches  toward  the  fertile  soil  which 
has  produced  them.  In  this  soil  so  fertile,  the  ambitious  vine,  which 
has  not  yet  wept  under  the  knife  of  the  industrious  vine-dresser,  forms 
a  thick  roof  with  its  broad  leaves  and  its  heavy  clusters  over  the  head 
of  whatever  it  twines  around,  which  it  often  stifles  by  embracing  too 
closely.  Under  these  vast  avenues  you  may  see  assembling  in  hun- 
dreds the  shy  stag  and  the  timid  hind,  with  the  bounding  roebuck, 
which  pick  up  largely  the  apples  and  plums  with  which  the  ground  is 
paved.  It  is  there  that  the  careful  turkey-hen  calls  back  her  numerous 
brood  and  leads  them  to  gather  the  grapes;  it  is  there  that  their  big 
cocks  come  and  fill  their  broad  and  gluttonous  crops;  the  golden 
pheasant,  the  quail,  the  partridge,  the  woodcock,  the  teeming  turtle- 
dove, swarm  in  the  woods  and  cover  the  open  country,  which  is  inter- 
sected and  broken  by  groves  of  full  grown  forest  trees,  which  form  a 
charming  prospect  and  in  itself  might  sweeten  the  melancholy  hours  of 
solitude.  There  the  hand  of  the  pitiless  mower  has  never  shorn  the 
juicy  grass,  on  which  bisons  of  enormous  height  and  size  fatten.  The 
woods  are  of  six  kinds — walnut  trees,  white  oak,  red,  bastard  ash,  ivy, 
whitewood  trees  and  cotton  trees,  but  these  same  trees  are  straight  as 
arrows,  without  curves  and  almost  without  branches  except  near  the 


top,  and  of  enormous  size  and  height.  It  is  from  thence  that  the  fear- 
less eagle  looks  steadily  at  the  sun,  seeing  beneath  him  wherewith  to 
satisfy  his  proudly- armed  foot.  The  fish  there  are  fed  and  laved  in 
sparkling  and  pellucid  waters,  and  are  none  the  less  delicious  for 
the  bountiful  supply  [of  them].  There  are  such  large  numbers  of 
swans  that  the  rushes  among  which  they  are  massed  might  be  taken 
for  lilies.  The  gabbling  goose,  the  duck,  the  teal  and  the  bustard,  are 
so  common  here  that,  in  order  to  satisfy  you  of  it,  I  will  only  make  use 
of  the  expression  of  one  of  the  savages.  Before  I  came  here  I  asked 
one  if  there  was  much  game  here.  He  answered,  'There  is  so  much 
that  they  only  move  aside  [long  enough]  to  allow  the  boat  to  pass.' 
In  a  word  the  cHniate  is  temperate,  the  air  very  pure.  During  the  day 
there  is  a  gentle  wind,  and  at  night  the  sky,  which  is  always  placid, 
diffuses  cool  and  sweet  influences  which  cause  us  to  enjoy  the  be- 
nignity of  tranquil  sleep.  If  its  position  is  pleasing  it  is  no  less  im- 
portant, for  it  opens  or  closes  the  approach  to  the  most  distant  tribes 
which  surround  these  sweet  water  seas.  It  is  only  the  opponents  of 
the  truth  who  are  the  enemies  of  this  settlement,  so  essential  to  the  in- 
crease of  the  glory  of  the  king,  to  the  spread  of  religion  and  to  the  de- 
struction of  the  throne  of  Baal." 

In  another  letter  dated  September  25,  1702,  he  gives  more  informa- 
tion regarding  this  region,  repeating  to  some  extent  what  he  said  before 
in  regard  to  the  fruit  bearing  trees.  "This  river  or  strait  of  the  seas 
is  covered,  both  on  the  mainland  and  the  islands,  with  large  clusters  of 
trees,  surrounded  by  charming  meadows.  I  have  observed  there  are 
nearly  twenty  different  kinds  of  plums ;  there  are  three  or  four  kinds 
of  which  are  very  good ;  the  others  are  very  large  and  pleasant  to  look 
at,  but  they  have  rather  tough  skins  and  mealy  flesh.  The  apples  are 
of  medium  size ;  too  acid.  There  is  also  a  number  of  cherry  trees,  but 
their  fruit  is  not  very  good.  In  places  there  are  mulberry  trees,  which 
bear  big  black  berries;  the  fruit  is  excellent  and  refreshing.  There  is 
also  a  very  large  quantity  of  hazel  nuts  and  filberts ;  there  are  six  kinds 
of  walnuts.  The  timber  of  these  trees  is  good  for  furniture  and  gun- 
stocks.  There  are  also  stretches  of  chestnuts,  chiefly  towards  Lake 
Erie.  All  the  fruit  trees  in  general  are  loaded  with  their  fruit ;  and 
there  is  reason  to  believe  that  if  these  trees  were  grafted,  pruned  and 
well  cultivated,  their  fruit  would  be  much  better  and  might  be  made 
good  fruit.  There  is  one  tree  which  is  unknown  to  me,  and  to  all  who 
have  seen  it ;  its  leaves  are  a  vivid  green  and  remain  so  until  the  month 


of  January.  It  has  been  observed  that  it  flowers  in  the  spring  and 
toward  the  end  of  November,  the  flowers  are  white;  this  tree  is  a  big- 
one.  There  is  another  tree  which  is  well  defended,  the  prickles  of 
which  are  one-half  a  foot  long  and  pierce  the  wood  like  a  nail.  It  bears 
a  fruit  like  kidney  beans;  the  leaf  is  like  the  capillary  plant;  neither 
animal  or  man  could  climb  it.  That  would  be  good  for  making  fences. 
Its  grain  is  very  hard;  when  it  has  arrived  at  maturity  the  wood  is  very 
difflcult  to  drive  a  nail  in  it  [the  thornapple].  There  are  also  citron 
trees  which  are  the  same  in  form  and  color  as  the  citron  of  Portugal,  but 
they  are  sweeter  and  smaller  [the  paw  paw].  There  is  a  large  number 
of  them ;  they  are  well  preserved.  The  root  of  this  tree  is  a  very  subtle 
and  deadly  poison  and  it  is  also  a  sovereign  remedy  against  snake  bites. 
It  is  only  necessary  to  pound  it  and  to  apply  it  to  the  wound  and  you 
are  instantly  cured.  There  are  but  few  snakes  in  Detroit;  they  are 
very  common  in  the  country  of  the  Iroquois.  I  have  seen  an  herb 
pointed  out  to  me  by  the  Iroquois  which  renders  the  venom  of  snakes 
innocuous ;  perhaps  it  may  have  some  other  use.  Fifteen  leagues  from 
Detroit,  at  the  entrance  to  Lake  Erie,  inclining  to  the  south  southwest, 
are  boundless  prairies  which  stretch  away  for  about  one  hundred  leagues. 
It  is  there  that  these  mighty  oxen  [buffalos],  which  are  covered  with 
wool,  find  food  in  abundance.  I  sent  this  spring  to  the  Chevalier  de 
Callieres  some  hides  and  wool  of  these  animals,  and  he  sent  both  to  the 
directors  of  the  company  of  the  colony  to  make  trial  of  them,  and  it  has 
been  found  that  the  discovery  will  prove  a  valuable  one ;  that  the  hides 
may  be  very  usefully  employed  and  the  wool  used  for  stockings  and 
cloth  making.  There  is  a  number  of  stags  and  hinds;  they  are  seen  in 
hundreds,  with  roebucks,  black  bears,  otters  and  other  smaller  fur- 
bearing  animals.  The  skins  of  these  animals  sell  well.  There  are  also 
a  number  of  beavers  on  this  mainland  and  in  the  neighborhood.  Game 
is  very  common — wild  turkey,  swans,  wild  ducks,  quails,  woodcocks, 
pheasants  and  rabbits.  There  are  so  many  turkeys  that  twenty  or 
thirty  could  be  killed  at  one  shot  every  time  they  are  met  with.  There 
are  also  partridges,  hazel-hens  and  a  stupendous  number  of  turtle-doves. 
As  the  place  is  well  supplied  with  animals,  the  wolves,  of  which  there 
are  numbers,  find  abundant  food,  but  it  often  costs  them  their  skins, 
because  they  sell  well  also,  and  this  aids  in  destroying  them,  because 
the  savages  hunt  them.  There  are  wood  rats  [opossums]  which  are  as 
large  as  rabbits,  most  of  them  gray,  but  there  are  some  seen  which  are 
as  white  as  snow.     The  female  has  a  pouch  under  her  belly  which  opens 


and  shuts  as  she  requires,  so  that  sometimes  when  her  little  ones  are 
playing,  if  the  mother  finds  herself  pressed,  quickly  shuts  them  up  in 
her  pouch  and  carries  them  all  away  with  her  at  once  and  gains  her  re- 
treat. I  have  seen  a  number  of  different  kinds  of  birds  of  rare  beauty. 
Some  have  a  plumage  of  a  beautiful  red  fire  color,  the  most  vivid  it 
were  possible  to  see;  they  have  a  few  shots  of  black  in  the  tail  and  at 
the  tips  of  their  wings,  but  that  is  only  noticed  when  they  are  flying. 
I  have  seen  others  all  yellow,  with  tails  bigger  than  their  bodies,  and 
they  spread  out  their  tails  as  peacocks  do.  I  have  seen  others  of  a  sky 
blue  color,  with  red  breasts;  there  are  some  curiously  marked  like 
great  butterflies.  I  have  observed  that  a  pleasant  warbling  proceeds 
from  all  these  birds,  especially  from  the  red  ones  with  large  beaks. 
There  are  many  cranes,  gray  and  white,  and  they  stand  higher  than  a 
man.  The  savages  value  these  latter  greatly  on  account  of  their  plum- 
age, with  which  they  adorn  themselves.  In  the  river  of  Detroit  there 
are  neither  stones  or  rocks,  but  on  Lake  Huron  there  are  fine  quarries, 
and  it  is  a  country  wooded  like  Canada,  that  is  to  say,  with  endless 
forests.  Houses  could  be  provided  and  buildings  erected  of  bricks,  for 
there  is  earth  which  is  very  suitable  for  this,  and  fortunately,  only  five 
leagues  from  the  fort  there  is  an  island  which  is  very  large  and  is  en- 
tirely composed  of  limestone  [Stony  Island].  We  have  fish  in  great 
abundance,  and  it  could  not  be  otherwise,  for  the  river  is  inclosed  and 
situated  between  the  lake,  or  rather  between  as  many  seas.  A  thing 
which  is  most  convenient  for  navigation  is,  that  it  does  not  wind  at  all; 
its  two  prevailing  winds  are  the  northeast  and  southwest.  This  coun- 
try is  so  temperate,  so  fertile  and  so  beautiful,  that  it  may  justly  be 
called  the  earthly  paradise  of  North  America,  deserves  all  the  care  of 
the  king  to  keep  it  up  and  to  attract  inhabitants  to  it,  so  that  a  solid 
settlement  may  be  formed  there  which  shall  not  be  liable  to  the  usual 
vicissitudes  of  the  other  posts,  in  which  only  a  mere  garrison  is  placed."' 

In  regard  to  the  buffalos  which  he  calls  oxen,  he  says  that  "he  could 
not  send  any  of  them  to  France  until  barges  could  be  built,  as  they 
were  too  large  to  be  transported  in  canoes." 

Cadillac  named  the  inclosure  Fort  Pontchartrain,  after  his  friend  and 
patron,  but  the  settlement  itself  was  always  named  Detroit,  or  the 

A  company  of  one  hundred  men  directed  by  an  energetic  and  capa- 
ble leader  can  accomplish  wonders.  Cadillac  kept  his  men  at  work  early 
and  late,  and  by  the  first  day  of  September  the  green  knoll,  which  had 



probably  never  felt  the  imprint  of  a  white  man's  foot  six  weeks  before, 
had  been  converted  into  a  walled  city  of  extremely  rustic  pattern,  and 
shelter  had  been  provided  for  the  settlers  and  their  stores.  A  walled 
city  may  seem  an  extravagant  term  unless  comparison  is  made  with  the 
foundings  of  older  cities.  Tradition  has  it  that  Romulus,  the  founder 
of  Rome,  slew  his  twin  brother,  Remus,  because  the  latter  leaped  the 
first  wall  of  Rome  and  scoffed  at  its  weak  protection.  When  Caesar 
discovered  Paris  it  was  a  city  of  some  years  standing,  yet  the  walls 
inclosed  but  thirty-seven  acres,  and  as  late  as  the  beginning  of  the 
thirteenth  century  its  walls  surrounded  less  than  a  square  mile.  The 
roots  of  the  first  settlement  struck  deep  into  the  soil  and  although  the 
last  traces  of  the  stockade  have  been  missing  for  seventy  years,  the  soil 
still  reveals  the  story  of  the  past  each  time  it  is  disturbed  for  the  erec- 
tion of  great  buildings.  In  the  summer  of  1894,  193  years  after  the 
founding  of  the  city,  excavations  at  the  corner  of  Wayne  and  Larned 
streets  turned  up  many  relics.  Fragments  of  old  muskets,  rusty  sword 
and  knife  hilts,  a  mass  of  rotten  high  boots,  such  as  were  worn  by  the 
French  soldiers  of  the  seventeenth  century,  and  a  number  of  three  and 
four  pound  cannon  balls,  were  found  on  the  spot,  some  of  them  ten 
feet  or  more  beneath  the  surface.  They  indicate  that  the  military 
stores  must  have  been  housed  in  this  part  of  the  works,  while  the  pow- 
der magazine  is  supposed  to  have  been  located  in  a  pit  near  the  corner 
of  Griswold  and  Larned.  Fort  Pontchartrain  had  its  northern  barrier 
near  the  north  side  of  Larned  street  reaching  fnftm  Wayne  to  a  point 
near  Griswold  street.  It  ran  down  quite  close  to  the  river  bank,  and 
one  of  the  large  fortified  gates  must  have  been  near  the  crossing  of 
Shelby  and  Woodbridge  streets,  the  other  being  on  the  north  side  in 
the  middle  of  the  Larned  street  front. 

Settlers  soon  came  and  crowded  the  little  cabins,  until  they  could 
erect  habitations  of  their  own.  Indians  arrived  in  small  bands,  some 
of  them  being  Iroquois,  and  erected  their  cabins  of  bark,  back  on  the 
river  bank,  and  following  them  came  the  French  merchants  and  the 
coureurs  de  bois.  Before  the  next  summer,  according  to  C.  M.  Burton, 
the  little  colony,  situated  beyond  the  verge  of  civilization,  "had  a 
population  of  6,000  souls,  mostly  Indians,  and  was  the  metropolis  of 
America."  No  white  woman  came  during  the  first  year,  but  in  the 
succeeding  years  wives  and  families  from  Quebec,  Montreal  and  else- 
where, rejoined  their  husbands  in  Detroit.  The  buildings  were  log 
huts,  generally  one  story  in  height  with  an  attic  in  the  roof.      The  lots 


on  which  they  stood  were  quite  small,  seldom  exceeding  25  by  25  feet; 
the  shops  and  stores  being  a  trifle  larger,  and  all  the  space  inside  the 
palisades  was  probably  covered  by  buildings.  The  soldiers  were 
lodged  inside  the  fort,  and  Cadillac,  in  order  to  foster  industry,  gave 
them  the  use  of  half  arpent  spaces  outside  the  inclosure,  for  gardening 
purposes.  These  spaces  fronted  on  the  east  side  of  what  is  now  Ran- 
dolph street,  between  the  river  and  Fort  street  east.  The  soldiers' 
houses  were  owned  by  the  commandant,  while  the  houses  of  the  per- 
manent merchants,  artisans  and  other  citizens,  were  generally  owned 
by  themselves.  No  transfers  of  lands  were  given  until  1704,  and  the 
occupants  of  real  estate  probably  erected  buildings  under  an  agree- 
ment to  have  their  titles  confirmed  in  the  future. 

When  Madame  Cadillac  heard  that  the  fort  was  ready  to  give  her 
shelter,  she  resolved  to  leave  Quebec  and  go  to  her  husband,  in  spite 
of  the  difficulties  and  dangers  which  beset  the  way.  It  was  a  journey 
of  one  thousand  miles.  At  Detroit  she  would  be  cut  off  from  all 
society  such  as  she  enjoyed  in  Quebec.  The  latter  station  was  con- 
sidered safe  against  any  attempt  the  savages  might  make  upon  it,  while 
the  new  outpost  was  not  only  beset  with  dangers,  but  also  cut  off  from 
the  rest  of  the  world.  Her  friends  tried  to  persuade  her  to  remain  in 
Quebec,  but  she  was  firm,  and  Madame  Tonty,  whose  husband  was  also 
at  Fort  Pontchartrain,  declared  her  intention  to  accompany  her. 
Madame  Cadillac  answered  her  advisers  saying:  "A  woman  who  loves 
her  husband  as  she  should,  has  no  stronger  attraction  than  his  com- 
pany, wherever  he  may  be;  everything  else  should  be  indifferent  to 
her."  Cadillac  has  been  censured  for  being  often  involved  in  troubles 
caused  by  his  rashness  and  his  prejudices,  but  whatever  his  faults  he 
must  have  possessed  noble  traits  of  character  to  have  inspired  the 
strong  devotion  of  such  a  woman.  Madame  Cadillac  brought  her  son, 
James,  aged  seven  years,  leaving  her  two  young  daughters  in  the 
Ursuline  Convent.  The  two  brave  women  set  out  from  Quebec  on 
September  10,  1701,  in  birch  bark  canoes,  with  an  escort  of  rude 
voyageurs,  for  a  journey  of  several  weeks  through  the  wilderness. 
They  were  paddled  up  the  St.  Lawrence,  tramping  along  with  their 
escort  at  the  several  portages,  and  finally  arriving  at  Frontenac,  where 
they  passed  the  winter. 

Here  they  found  Father  Valliant,  who  was  able  to  tell  the  ladies 
more  satisfactor)^  information  of  their  husbands.  Early  in  the  spring 
they  proceeded  along  the  northern  shore  of  Lake  Ontario.     Another 


long  portage  was  passed  between  the  mouth  of  the  Niagara  River  and 
Lake  Erie,  and  then  the  canoes  were  paddled  along  the  shore  to  the 
mouth  of  Detroit  River.  At  night  the  travelers  slept  in  the  forest 
with  the  canoes  overturned  above  them  for  shelter  against  the  rain, 
and  they  were  constantly  in  danger  of  attack,  because  the  fierce  Iro- 
quois opposed  the  founding  of  Detroit  as  an  encroachment  upon  their 
territory.  The  glad  reception  this  party  received  at  the  fort  can  well 
be  imagined.  The  cannon  thundered  out  a  welcome  as  the  canoes 
rounded  the  bend  in  the  river,  and  the  advent  of  the  two  ladies  caused 
a  genuine  sensation  among  the  aborigines.  "The  Iroquois,"  Cadillac 
says,  "kissed  their  hands  and  wept  for  joy,  saying  that  French  women 
had  never  before  come  willingly  to  their  country."  They  were  re- 
ceived at  Detroit  by  all  the  Indians  under  arms  with  many  discharges 
of  musketry,  the  aborigines  being  then  convinced  that  the  French 
wished  to  make  Detroit  a  post  to  live  in  and  a  flourishing  settlement. 
Mesdames  Cadillac  and  Tonty  were  the  first  white  ladies  in  Detroit  and 
their  list  of  calling  acquaintances  must  have  been  quite  limited  during 
the  first  year  or  two. 

Cadillac  at  once  surveyed  the  lands,  laying  out  lots  and  describing 
their  borders  in  exact  measurement.  In  some  cases  these  grants  be- 
came the  sources  of  fortune  to  modern  days,  but  in  every  grant 
Cadillac  reserved  to  himself  certain  rights  which  curiously  illustrate 
his  attempt  to  establish  a  sort  of  feudal  system.  For  instance,  all  the 
grain  produced  was  to  be  ground  at  his  mill  and  he  exacted  an  annual 
tribute  as  grand  seigneur.  From  the  first,  after  the  pressing  needs  of 
defense  and  shelter  were  accomplished,  Cadillac  directed  his  efforts  to 
secure  a  permanent  supply  of  food.  The  first  wheat  was  planted  on 
October  7,  1701,  and  was  reaped  in  Jul}^,  1702,  but  the  crop  did  not 
fulfill  expectations.  Another  crop,  sown  in  the  spring  of  1702,  was  al- 
most a  failure,  but  in  the  summer  of  1702  eight  arpents,  or  French 
acres,  were  sown  in  wheat,  and  twelve  in  Indian  corn,  and  these  were 
good  crops.  The  fifty  soldiers  also  tilled  their  half-acre  lots;  the 
artisans  and  traders  in  the  fort  cultivated  sizable  fields  outside,  and  the 
the  Indians  raised  abundance  of  corn.  Grape  culture  was  also  com- 
menced; the  woods  were  full  of  wild  game;  and  the  river  teemed 
with  choice  fish.  By  the  end  of  1702  the  food  supply  was  no  longer  a 
problem.  All  the  industry  was  accomplished  by  manual  labor,  with 
the  aid  of  spades  and  hoes,  there  being  no  horses  or  oxen  in  the  set- 
tlement.     Cadillac  brought  three  horses  and  ten  head  of  cattle  to  De- 


troit  in  1704;  two  of  the  horses  died,  but  the  survivor,  named  Colin, 
hved  for  many  years.  He  must  have  been  a  strong  heavy  animal,  as 
he  was  used  for  plowing  and  hauling  loads,  and  was  also  rented  to  the 
settlers  for  these  purposes.  Other  horses  and  different  oxen  came 

A  part  of  Cadillac's  projects,  in  connection  with  the  plan  of  building 
up  a  colony,  was  to  induce  his  soldiers  to  marry  the  Indian  maidens 
and  thus  form  a  strong  bond  of  kinship  and  mutual  interest  between 
the  aborigines  and  the  French.  To  this  end  and  for  the  purpose  of 
getting  even  with  the  Jesuits  at  Mackinac,  he  endeavored  from  the 
first  to  bring  the  Hurons  from  that  place  to  Detroit.  In  conferring 
with  Father  Valliant  on  the  subject  he  met  a  decided  refusal  to  co- 
operate, as  the  priest  would  not  look  with  favor  on  any  scheme  that 
would  disrupt  or  injure  the  Jesuit  mission  at  that  place.  As  a  result  of 
this  disagreement  Father  Valliant  left  Detroit  about  two  months  after 
his  arrival  and  went  to  Fort  Frontenac,  which  was  on  the  present  site 
of  Kingston,  Ontario.  Father  Superior  Bouvard  at  Quebec,  Father 
Etienne  de  Carheil  at  Mackinac,  and  all  the  other  Jesuits  also  opposed 
Cadillac  in  this  plan,  and  the  project  of  founding  a  Jesuit  mission  at 
Detroit  failed  for  a  time.  In  1728,  however,  after  Cadillac  had  re- 
turned to  France,  the  "  Huron  Mission  of  Detroit  "  was  founded  by  the 
Jesuits,  and  it  was  located  on  the  other  side  of  the  river  at  Sandwich, 
opposite  Detroit. 

The  principal  thoroughfare  of  old  Detroit  was  St.  Anne  street,  which 
ran  east  and  west  and  was  about  thirty  feet  wide.  Its  northern  line 
was  nearly  on  the  northern  side  of  Jefferson  avenue,  extending  from 
Griswold  street  to  a  point  about  thirty  feet  west  of  Shelby  street.  Near 
its  easterly  end  on  the  north  side,  was  the  church,  a  little  west  of  where 
Ives  &  Son's  bank  is  now  situated,  at  the  northwest  corner  of  Jefferson 
avenue  and  Griswold  street.  South  of  St.  Anne  street  was  a  parallel 
thoroughfare  named  St.  Louis  street,  on  which  both  the  northerly  and 
southerly  tiers  of  lots  were  all  on  what  is  now  Jefferson  avenue.  Another 
parallel  street  north  of  St.  Anne,  was  named  St.  Joachim  street,  which 
lay  between  Jefferson  avenue  and  the  alley  on  the  north.  This  street 
extended  like  the  others  from  Griswold  to  Shelby  streets;  these  streets 
were  about  twenty  feet  wide.  Two  other  streets  ran  north  and  south, 
and  extended  from  St.  Louis  to  St.  Joachim  street,  across  St.  Anne 
street,  and  there  was  another  short  thoroughfare  midway  between  the 
two,  named  Recontre  street.    Realizing  these  spaces  and  measurements 


and  the  contrast  between  them  and  the  wide  streets  of  modern  Detroit, 
it  might  be  thought  that  the  land  was  extremely  valuable,  but  the 
contrary  was  the  fact.  The  inhabitants  were  huddled  together  for  pro- 
tection within  the  small  stockade,  and  when  land  was  sold  or  rented 
the  prices  paid  were  principally  for  safety  from  the  savages  or  the 
British,  and  also  for  the  privilege  of  conducting  trade  or  other  voca- 

The  population  of  the  first  year,  owing  to  causes  hereinafter  related, 
was  not  maintained  and  was  not  equaled  until  one  hundred  and  fifty 
years  later,  but  as  more  room  was  desirable,  the  inclosure  was  enlarged 
from  time  to  time  under  French,  British  and  American  rule,  until  1812, 
when  it  was  surrendered  by  Hull.  It  then  comprised  all  the  space  on 
the  river  front  between  Brush  and  Wayne  streets  and  back  to  Larned 
street.  From  these  eastern  and  western  points  the  line  of  palisades 
inclined  inward  to  the  earthworks  of  the  fort,  the  center  of  which  was 
at  the  present  intersection  of  Fort  and  Shelby  streets,  with  angles 
reaching  out  half  a  square  in  four  directions. 

In  order  to  hamper  the  development  of  Detroit,  the  Jesuits  of  Mack- 
inaw, in  1701,  planned  the  establishment  of  a  post  at  Fort  St.  Joseph, 
on  the  St.  Joseph  River  on  Lake  Michigan,  where  special  inducements 
would  be  made  to  settlers  and  Indians  for  the  purpose  of  drawing  away 
those  who  had  already  settled  at  Detroit.  Many  had  been  persuaded 
by  Cadillac  to  leave  Mackinaw  and  come  to  his  post.  Tonty,  who  was 
associated  with  Cadillac  and  pretended  to  be  his  friend,  united  with 
Fathers  Marmet  and  Davenant,  of  Mackinaw,  for  the  promotion  of  this 
scheme.  When  ii  failed  Tonty  begged  Cadillac's  pardon  and  it  was 
granted,  but  he  was  soon  in  another  scheme  which  had  for  its  purpose 
the  removal  of  Cadillac  and  the  substitution  of  himself  as  commandant. 

During  this  period,  the  first  two  years  of  the  settlement,  each  party 
to  the  controversy  made  bitter  accusations  against  the  other.  The  Jes- 
uits said  that  they  would  display  a  more  Christian  spirit  than  the 
vengeful  Cadillac,  by  laying  all  their  resentment  at  the  foot  of  the 
crucifix.  Cadillac  retorted  sarcastically  that  the  deposit  was  a  mere 
convenience,  as  the  vocation  of  the  Jesuit  priests  called  them  con- 
stantly to  the  foot  of  the  crucifix,  and  they  could  therefore  take  up 
their  resentments  again  at  any  time.  In  one  of  his  lengthy  attacks  on 
the  Jesuits,  he  says  they  "  wished  him  to  go  down  under  the  waters  of 
vengeance  and  persecution,  but  as  long  as  I  have  for  my  protection 
Justice  and  Merit,  I  shall  float  and  swim  over  the  waves  like  the  nest 


of  the  ingenious  Icing-fisher.  I  shall  try  to  conduct  myself  better  and 
better,  and  to  walk  by  the  brightness  and  the  light  of  these  two  illus- 
trious patronesses.  Without  them  I  should  long  ago  have  been  unable 
to  bear  up  against  the  torrent.  It  is  true  that  sometimes  raising  my 
eyes  to  heaven,  I  cry  in  the  weakness  of  my  faith,  *  Sancta  Frontenac, 
ora  pro  me*  (Pray  for  me,  Holy  Frontenac)." 

In  1701  beaver  skins  had  depreciated  in  price  and  were  a  drug  in  the 
market,  and  Intendant  Champigny  cautioned  Cadillac  to  deal  as  little 
in  that  kind  of  fur  as  possible  and  to  trade  for  other  skins  that  would 
bring  good  prices.  The  skins  of  stags  and  hinds  were  then  worth  four- 
teen livres ;  roebucks  up  to  six  livres ;  bears  up  to  ten  livres ;  others  five 
livres  and  wildcats  thirty -two  sols  or  one  livre  and  seven  sols. 


Plots  and  Counterplots  between  Cadillac  and  His  Enemies — The  Merchants  of 
Montreal  Oppose  the  Development  of  Detroit  for  Fear  of  Its  Future  Rivalry — Detroit 
was  a  Great  Beaver  Region. 

Cadillac's  report  to  Pontchartrain  of  the  results  of  his  first  year's 
work  was  as  follows : 

"  All  that  I  have  the  honor  to  state  to  you  has  been  done  in  one  year,  without  its 
having  cost  the  king  a  sol,  and  without  costing  the  company  more  than  it  ought, 
and  in  twelve  months  we  have  put  ourselves  in  a  position  to  do  without  provisions 
from  Canada  forever,  and  all  this  undertaking  was  carried  out  with  three  months' 
provisions,  which  I  took  when  I  set  out  from  Montreal,  and  which  were  consumed 
in  the  course  of  the  journey.  This  proves  whether  Detroit  is  a  desirable  or  unde- 
sirable country.  Besides  this  nearly  six  thousand  savages  of  different  tribes  win- 
tered there,  as  every  one  knows.     This  is  the  paradise  of  North  America." 

While  Cadillac  was  busily  engaged  in  furthering  the  interests  of  the 
colony,  he  received  on  July  19,  1702,  a  notification  that  the  post  had 
been  ceded  to  the  "Company  of  the  Colony  of  Canada."  This  was  un- 
welcome and  disagreeable  news  to  a  man  whose  fortunes  had  been 
shattered  by  war,  and  who  was  then  bending  every  energy  to  repair 
them  by  building  up  the  new  colony.  In  one  of  his  letters,  written 
subsequently,  he  stated  that  if  he  had  known  that  the  company  was  to 
have  the  trade  of  Detroit,  he  would  not  have  undertaken  its  establish- 


ment.  He  had  doubtless  supposed  that  the  trade  of  the  new  settle- 
ment would  g-o  to  him,  just  as  the  trade  of  the  Illinois  country  had 
been  granted  to  La  Salle.  The  De  Caens  had  also  been  given  the 
monopoly  of  trade  in  New  France  when  Frontenac  was  governor,  and 
they  were  succeeded  by  the  West  Indian  Company  in  1664.  Both  lost 
money  in  these  enterprises  and  their  charters  were  revoked.  In  1699 
the  principal  citizens  of  Quebec,  one  of  whom  was  Cadillac,  sent  a  dep- 
utation to  Versailles  to  solicit  from  Louis  XIV  the  monoply  of  the 
beaver  trade,  and  this  company  was  granted  that  privilege  after  Cadil- 
lac founded  Detroit.  By  the  terms  of  the  agreement  the  Company  of 
the  Colony  was  to  have  the  exclusive  control  of  the  fur  trade  of  Forts 
Pontchartrain  and  Frontenac,  and  were  required  to  finish  the  forts  and 
buildings  belonging  thereto,  and  keep  them  in  good  repair,  and  to  sup- 
port the  commandant  and  one  other  officer.  The  necessary  garrison 
was  to  be  maintained  at  the  king's  expense.  This  was  the  system  on 
which  French  colonial  enterprises  were  conducted  at  that  time.  Colo- 
nizing was  always  an  expensive  undertaking,  and  neither  the  gov- 
ernment of  New  France,  with  its  sparse  population,  nor  the  mother 
country,  impoverished  by  European  wars,  could  afford  to  support  such 
undertakings  alone.  The  method  used  was  simply  to  grant  trade 
privileges  to  companies  and  provide  that  the  latter  should  pay  a  con- 
siderable portion  of  the  expenses. 

Three  days  after  receiving  the  notice  Cadillac  left  Detroit  on  July  21, 
1702,  for  Quebec,  where  he  made  arrangements  with  the  company,  A 
contract  was  drawn  up  by  which  the  company  agreed  to  pay  him  2,000 
livres  ($400)  and  DeTonty  1,333  livres  ($266)  per  year,  and  the  neces- 
sary supplies  for  their  families.  He  was  pledged  not  to  traffic  with  the 
savages  and  to  prevent,  as  far  as  possible,  all  other  traders,  including 
the  English,  from  trading  at  the  post.  He  was  also  given  charge  of  the 
books  of  the  company  and  was  treasurer  of  its  surplus  funds,  and  given 
power  to  prevent  frauds  by  the  employees.  He  undertook  to  carry  out 
the  purposes  of  his  office,  and  this  finally  brought  him  into  collision 
with  the  company.  In  consideration  of  the  monopoly  of  the  trade  of 
the  post  of  Detroit,  the  company  bound  itself  to  reimburse  Cadillac  for 
the  expenses  he  incurred  there,  consisting  not  only  of  the  goods  which 
had  been  sent  there  for  trading,  but  also  of  the  provisions,  stores  and 
tools,  boats  bought  for  the  journey,  the  construction  of  the  fort,  and 
the  wages  of  those  who  were  serving  at  that  post,  but  on  condition  of 
his  making  a  reduction  of  15,000  livres,  which  his  majesty  had  granted 


for  the  construction  of  the  fort.  Also  to  provide  food  for  the  officers 
in  command  there,  so  that  they  might  have  their  pay  clear;  to  have  the 
provisions  and  clothes  of  the  soldiers  conveyed  there  at  fifteen  per 
cent,  profit,  which  otherwise  would  have  cost  as  much  again ;  and  also 
to  distribute  to  poor  families  of  rank  the  sum  of  6,000  livres  instead  of 
the  licensed  traders.  The  company  was  also  obliged  by  the  orders  of 
Governor  de  Callieres,  and  his  intendant,  De  Beauharnois,  to  restrict 
their  trade  to  the  forts  at  Frontenac  and  Detroit,  because  the  savages 
could  easily  come  to  these  two  places.  "If  it  were  permitted  to  this 
company  to  take  goods  to  them  [the  savages]  it  would  entirely  ruin  the 
trade  of  the  settlers  and  the  merchants  of  Montreal,  who  only  get  a 
bare  subsistence  on  the  little  trade  done  there  at  present." 

In  November,  1702,  intrigues  were  already  at  work  at  the  new  set- 
tlement. The  Hurons  at  Detroit,  together  with  some  Indians  from 
the  Sault,  went  to  Orange  (Albany)  in  response  to  an  invitation  from 
the  English  to  come  and  trade  with  them,  and  then  the  chiefs  at  De- 
troit went  to  Tonty  and  said  if  they  could  not  get  goods  cheaper  at 
Detroit  that  their  young  men  would  go  and  trade  with  the  English  at 
Orange  or  at  some  meeting  place.  In  communicating  this  unwelcome 
newstoPontchartrain,  Governor  de  Callieres  said  that  he  greatly  feared 
that  these  intrigues  might  have  disastrous  consequences  to  the  colony. 
At  the  end  of  1702  the  Hurons  had  cleared  up  about  two  hundred  acres 
of  land,  and  their  village  and  fort  was  on  the  west  of  Fort  Pontchar- 
train.  The  Appenagos  or  Loups,  generally  called  Wolves,  had  a  vil- 
lage and  fort  on  the  east  side  of  the  French  fort,  the  land,  however, 
being  granted  by  Cadillac  with  the  condition  that  they  would  remove 
when  requested,  as  he  expected  to  use  the  space  in  the  future  as  a 
common.  He  characterized  them  as  peaceable  and  caressing,  and  that 
they  even  tried  to  learn  the  French  language.  About  a  mile  and  a 
half  above  the  fort  was  a  settlement  and  fort  inhabited  by  four  tribes 
of  Ottawas.  So  that  in  1702  within  the  space  of  one  league  there 
were  four  forts  and  four  hundred  men  bearing  arms,  with  their  fam- 
ilies, beside  the  garrison. 

In  the  spring  of  1703  a  fire  broke  out  in  the  fort  which  did  consider- 
able damage.  The  mystery  surrounding  its  origin  led  Cadillac  to  be- 
lieve that  it  was  the  work  of  the  Jesuits,  and  he  wrote  the  following 
account  to  Count  Pontchartrain : 

"The  fort  was  set  on  fire,  the  blaze  having  been  started  in  a  barn,  which  was 
flanked  by  two  bastions  and  was  full  of  corn  and  other  crops.     The  flames  by  a 


strong  wind  burned  down  the  church,  the  house  of  the  Recollet,  that  of  de  Tonty 
and  mine,  which  cost  me  a  loss  of  400  pistoles  [$800J,  which  I  could  have  saved 
if  I  had  been  willing  to  let  the  company's  warehouse  burn  and  the  king's  ammuni- 
tion. I  even  had  one  hand  burnt,  and  lost  for  the  most  part  all  my  papers  in  the 
fire.  We  have  never  been  able  to  ascertain  who  it  was  set  fire  to  the  barn,  though 
we  may  be  able  to  obtain  something  about  it  hereafter.  All  the  tribes  settled  at 
Detroit  assert  that  it  was  a  strange  savage  who  did  the  deed,  or  rather  they  say  some 
Frenchman  who  has  been  paid  for  doing  this  wicked  act.     God  only  knows." 

In  this  conflagration  the  church  records  were  destroyed;  they  were 
not  very  extensive  to  be  sure,  but  they  doubtless  contained  the  record 
of  the  birth  and  death  of  one  of  Cadillac's  children,  as  well  as  the 
birth  and  death  of  a  child  of  Tonty.  Years  afterward  a  settler  named 
Campau  told  Governor  Vaudreuil  that  one  of  Tonty's  factotums,  a 
soldier  named  De  Ville,  had  started  the  fire. 

C.  M.  Burton  fixes  the  probable  site  of  Cadillac's  home  on  what  is 
now  the  north  side  of  Jefferson  avenue,  between  Griswold  and  Shelby 
streets,  about  where  the  old  Masonic  hall  is  situated,  on  the  ground 
now  covered  by  the  buildings  Nos.  133,  13o  and  137  Jefferson  avenue. 
The  resident  Indians  realized  that  Cadillac  was  a  friend  in  need  and 
helped  stay  the  progress  of  the  flames.  After  the  fire  was  over  they 
presented  him  with  one  hundred  bushels  of  corn,  and  also  furnished 
him  with  all  the  grain  necessary  for  the  support  of  the  troops  at  the 
usual  price. 

Still  later  in  1703  a  party  of  fifteen  Illinois  braves  appeared  at  the 
settlement  with  the  object  of  destroying  it.  They  were  discovered  be- 
fore they  did  any  harm,  and  were  at  once  captured  and  whipped  at  the 
post.  Cadillac  then  sent  four  of  them  back  to  their  tribe,  and  through 
them  concluded  a  treaty  of  peace.  An  outbreak  in  which  Cadillac  ex- 
hibited diplomacy  of  a  high  order  occurred  shortly  afterward.  A  band 
of  Miamis  from  Auyatonan  attacked  the  Detroit  Indians  and  killed  an 
Ottawa,  two  Hurons  and  a  Potawatomie.  This  raised  the  resentment 
of  the  local  Indians,  and  they  immediately  organized  for  the  war  path, 
but  Cadillac  realized  that  an  Indian  war  would  cripple  or  ruin  the  set- 
tlement, and  he  persuaded  them  to  wait  for  a  few  days.  He  then 
went  to  the  camp  of  the  Miamis  at  Auyatonan,  and  told  them  that  if 
they  did  not  satisfy  the  friends  of  the  murdered  braves,  that  the 
French  would  deal  with  them  severely.  The  latter  sent  several  chiefs 
to  Detroit  and  after  a  parley  peace  was  declared  for  the  time  being. 

In  the  little  settlement  under  French  rule  the  street  scenes  were 
imique,    showing  a  strange   mingling   of    civilization    and    barbarism. 


Along  the  banks  of  the  river  could  be  seen  the  Indian  birch  bark 
canoes  turned  bottom  up  and  sheltering  the  red  man  and  his  children, 
now  on  a  trading  visit.  Beside  the  canoes  were  often  tents  or  tepees 
made  of  the  same  material,  to  afford  additional  shelter.  On  the  nar- 
row streets  were  the  French  soldiers  of  the  garrison,  clad  in  gay  blue 
uniforms  with  white  facings  and  three-cornered  chapeaux ;  the  Recollect 
fathers,  clad  in  black  cassocks,  with  the  crucifix  hanging  from  the 
waist;  the  coureiir  de  bois,  with  his  blue  blanket  coat  and  red  cape;  the 
Stolid  Indian  awaiting  the  disposal  of  his  peltries,  which  he  had 
brought  from  his  hunting  grounds  hundreds  of  miles  away;  the  sober 
merchant  of  sober  garb  and  gait,  as  he  passed  on  his  way  to  the  beach 
where  the  peltries  lay ;  and  the  gay  young  women,  wives  and  daugh- 
ters of  the  merchants  and  army  officers,  who  were  the  aristocracy  of 
the  post,  radiant  in  silks  and  satins  of  fashions  which  were  in  vogue  in 
Paris  two  years  before,  and  had  been  imported  to  Quebec  the  previous 

La  Hontan,  a  French  officer  who  was  commandant  of  a  fort  on  Lake 
Ontario  during  the  seventeenth  century,  gives  an  interesting  account 
of  the  way  the  Indians  traded  with  the  French  while  the  latter  were 
rulers  of  the  Northwest.  His  "Journal  "  was  first  published  in  1703, 
and  there  were  several  editions  in  later  years.  "When  the  Indians 
accumulated  a  sufficient  supply  of  peltries,  they  loaded  them  in  bark 
canoes  and  set  forth  for  the  market.  Arrived  at  their  destination  they 
encamped  some  four  or  five  hundred  yards  from  the  town,  unloaded 
their  canoes  and  camped  beside  them.  Next  day  they  generall}^  waited 
on  the  commandant  or  highest  person  in  authority,  and  had  an  audience 
in  a  public  place.  The  French  ruler  would  sit  in  a  chair  and  the  Indians 
on  the  ground  with  pipes  in  their  mouths.  Presently  one  of  the  orators 
would  stand  up  and  make  a  speech,  saying  that  his  party  had  come  to 
renew  their  friendship  with  the  French ;  that  they  wished  to  promote 
the  interests  of  the  latter;  that  they  knew  their  goods  were  valuable, 
and  that  the  French  goods  given  in  exchange  were  not  so  costly  or  de- 
sirable; that  they  wanted  to  exchange  their  furs  for  powder  and  ball 
and  guns  and  blankets  and  other  articles.  With  the  arms  and  ammu- 
nition they  proposed  to  hunt  great  quantities  of  beavers,  or  to  fight  the 
Iroquois,  if  the  latter  disturbed  the  French  settlement.  Then  they 
gave  a  belt  of  wampum,  which  was  several  strings  of  shells  or  an  im- 
itation of  the  same  in  crockery,  to  the  person  in  authority,  together 
with  some  skins,  and  claimed  his  protection  in  case  any  of  their  goods 


were  stolen,  or  for  any  abuse  that  might  be  committed  upon  them  in 
the  place.  The  ruler  would  answer  in  a  very  civil  speech,  in  which  he 
assured  them  of  his  protection  and  made  some  presents  in  return.  Then 
the  conference  was  over  and  the  savages  returned  to  their  temporary 
camp.  Next  morning,  with  their  slaves,  if  they  had  any,  they  would 
carry  the  skins  to  the  stores  of  the  merchants,  and  bargain  with  them 
for  clothes,  blankets,  axes,  powder,  ball,  etc.  The  inhabitants  (except 
in  the  early  days  of  New  France  when  the  big  companies  had  a  monop- 
oly of  the  trade)  were  permitted  to  traffic  with  the  Indians  and  exchange 
goods  with  them,  but  spirituous  liquors  were  barred,  as  the  Indians 
when  drunk  were  liable  to  quarrel,  rob  and  kill.  After  the  trading  was 
finished  the  savages  retired  to  their  villages."  "The  whole  of  New 
France  was  a  vast  ranging  ground  for  the  Indian  tribes,  who  roamed 
over  it  in  all  the  listless  indolence  of  their  savage  independence ;  for 
the  Jesuit  missionaries,  garbed  in  black  cassocks,  who  strove  to  gain 
the  influence  of  the  red  men  for  both  the  church  and  the  French  gov- 
ernment ;  for  a  theater  of  important  military  operations ;  and  for  a  grand 
mart  where  the  valuable  furs  of  the  region  were  collected  for  shipment 
to  France,  under  a  commercial  system  originally  projected  by  Cardinal 


According  to  that  shrewd  observer  and  able  writer,  the  late  Bela 
Hubbard,  that  timid  animal,  the  beaver,  led  to  the  colonization  of  Can- 
ada and  the  Northwest.  In  honor  of  the  animal's  memory,  the  arms  of 
Canada  bear  its  image,  and  the  early  arms  of  Quebec  and  Montreal  did 
it  like  honor.  Bryant's  history  says:  "  The  beaver  was  a  better  friend 
to  the  early  colonists  of  Massachusetts  than  the  cod,  although  the  cod- 
fish still  hangs  in  the  State  House  in  Boston  as  the  emblem  of  com- 
mercial prosperity,  while  the  beaver  lingers  only  in  tradition,  where 
the  remains  of  an  embankment  across  some  secluded  meadow  marks 
the  site  of  an  ancient  beaver  dam."  In  Hubbard's  "  Memorials  of  Half 
a  Century,"  the  writer  says: 

"The  region  between  Lake  Erie  and  the  Saginaw  valley  was  one  of  the  great 
beaver  trapping  grounds.  The  Huron,  the  Chippewa,  the  Ottawa  and  even  the  fierce 
Iroquois  from  beyond  Lake  Ontario,  by  turns  sought  this  region  in  large  numbers 
from  the  earliest  historic  times.  It  is  a  region  peculiarly  adapted  to  the  wants  of 
the  beaver.  To  a  great  extent  level,  it  is  intersected  by  small  water  courses  which 
have  but  a  moderate  flow.  At  the  head  waters  and  small  inlets  of  these  streams, 
the  beaver  established  his  colonies ;  here  he  dammed  the  stream,  setting  back  the 


water  over  the  flat  lands,  and  creating  ponds  which  were  his  habitation.  Not  one  or 
two,  but  a  series  of  such  dams  were  constructed  along  each  stream  so  that  very  ex- 
tensive surfaces  became  covered  with  the  flood.  The  trees  were  killed  and  the  land 
was  converted  into  a  chain  of  ponds  and  marshes.  In  time— by  nature's  recuperative 
process— the  annual  growth  and  decay  of  aquatic  plants— these  filled  up  with  muck 
or  peat,  with  occasional  deposits  of  bog  lime,  and  the  ponds  and  swales  became  dry 
again.  Illustrations  of  this  beaver-made  country  are  numerous  in  our  immediate 
vici""nity.  In  a  semicircle  of  twelve  miles  about  Detroit,  having  the  river  as  a  base 
and  embracing  about  100,000  acres,  fully  one-fifth  part  consists  of  marshy  tracts  and 
prairies  which  had  their  origin  in  the  work  of  the  beaver.  A  little  further  west 
nearly  one  whole  township  of  Wayne  county  is  of  this  character." 

One  reason  why  the  Iroquois  opposed  the  settlement  at  Detroit  was  be- 
cause the  French  were  encroaching  upon  their  beaver-trapping  grounds, 
and  this  encroachment  was  put  in  its  worst  possible  light  by  the  Brit- 
ish traders  who  plotted  to  keep  the  French  out.  France  received  from 
Canada  between  the  years  1675-85,  895,581  pounds  of  beaver  skin.s, 
averaging  89,588  pounds  a  year,  and  this  rich  trade  excited  the  envy 
of  the  British  trader.  A  good  skin  weighed  about  one  pound,  and 
under  the  name  of  a  castor  became  the  unit  of  value.  It  was  so  named 
because  castor  Canadensis  is  the  zoological  term  for  the  North  Ameri- 
can or  Canadian  beaver.  A  good  beaver  skin  or  castor,  was  worth 
aboitt  a  dollar,  and  all  other  fur  skins  were  related  to  it  in  value.  The 
old  Hudson  Bay  company  issued  a  money  counter  called  a  castor  in  the 
form  of  a  piece  of  wood,  appropriately  stamped  or  carved,  and  would 
pay  the  Indians  for  their  beaver  or  other  furs  with  them,  and  the  sav- 
ages could  buy  what  they  wished  in  the  company's  storehouse  with  this 
wooden  money.  A  castor,  or  its  equivalent,  was  thus  often  exchanged 
for  a  good  hunting  knife  in  the  early  days,  and  a  greater  quantity  would 
be  given  for  a  cheap  gun  and  ammunition.  It  would  seem  at  first 
glance  that  the  white  man  had  all  the  best  of  it,  which  is  true  from  the 
financial  standpoint,  but  while  the  traders  were  piling  up  fortunes  from 
the  sale  of  furs,  the  Indians  were  engaged  in  self-preservation.  The 
Iroquois  of  the  East  were  being  supplied  with  weapons  by  the  British, 
and  it  was  absolutely  necessary  that  the  Algonquin  and  other  northern 
Indians  should  secure  the  same  kind  of  arms,  and  throw  away  their 
bows  and  arrows.  Their  necessities  were  exactly  the  same  as  those  of 
the  United  States  government  to-day.  An  iron  clad  battleship  is  a 
piece  of  mechanism  which  costs  $2,500,000,  and  the  chances  are  that  it 
will  never  be  used,  but  in  order  to  preserve  peace  and  the  national 
honor  the  money  must  be  spent  simply  because  other  nations  are  arm- 



ing  themselves  in  the  same  fashion.  In  1765  under  English  rule  beaver 
skins  brought  two  shillings  and  sixpence  a  pound;  otter  skins  were  six 
shillings  each,  and  martens  one  shilling  and  sixpence.  Ten  beaver 
skins  were  given  in  exchange  for  a  stroud  blanket,  eight  for  a  white 
blanket,  two  for  a  pound  of  powder,  one  for  a  pound  of  shot,  one  for  a 
knife,  twenty  for  a  gun,  two  for  an  axe  of  one  pound  weight.  On  rare 
occasions  a  little  Quebec  currency  was  seen  at  Detroit  and  the  other 
western  posts,  but  money  did  not  come  into  use  until  the  New  York 
currency  was  brought  into  the  West. 

The  French  settlers  were  ever  anxious  to  make  Detroit  an  important 
trading  post  and  to  secure  the  good  will  of  the  natives,  but  the  minds 
of  the  savages  were  made  suspicious  by  the  scheming  traders,  who 
whispered  in  their  ears:  "  Beware  of  these  men  who  come  among  you 
to  build  forts;  they  will  tell  you  that  they  are  your  brothers  who  come 
to  trade  and  make  you  happy;  they  are  deceiving  you;  they  build 
forts  because  they  intend  to  make  war  upon  you  ;  they  place  cannon  so 
they  can  kill  you  when  they  wish  to  do  so.  They  will  trade  with  you 
if  you  will  let  them,  but  their  guns  and  their  knives  and  blankets  are 
not  good,  and  they  will  cheat  you  in  trading;  they  want  not  your  furs, 
but  your  country,  and  they  will  drive  you  away  as  you  drive  the  fat 
buffalo  in  the  fall.  We  trade  with  you  fairly  and  we  build  no  forts 
against  you." 

After  two  years  of  negotiating  a  band  of  Hurons  arrived  in  Detroit 
from  Mackinac,  and  Cadillac  could  not  conceal  his  exultation.  "Thirty 
Hurons  of  Michillimackinos  arrived  here  on  the  28th  of  June,  1703; 
there  remained  only  about  twenty-five  at  Michillimackinos.  Father 
Carheil,  who  is  missionary  there,  remains  always  firm.  I  hope  this 
fall  to  pluck  the  last  feather  out  of  his  wing  and  I  am  persuaded  that 
this  obstinate  old  priest  will  die  in  his  parish  without  a  single  parish- 
ioner to  bury  him." 

It  was  a  pathetic  picture  which  is  thus  suggested  by  the  worldly  and 
masterful  commandant.  The  old  priest,  true  to  his  obligations  to  God 
and  morality,  remaining  steadfast  while  his  flock  were  deserting  him 
to  obtain  brandy  and  become  wicked  and  demoralized  at  the  new  fort. 
And  yet  the  Indian  trade,  which  was  the  sole  basis  of  the  trade  of  the 
European  colonies  and  was  necessary  to  their  existence,  followed 
wherever  strong  drink  could  be  obtained.  It  was  either  French  brandy 
or  English  rum,  there  was  no  alternative,  and  between  them  the 
aborigines  were  ground  as  between  the  upper  and  nether  millstone  to 


fragments.  In  1703  the  Sauteurs  and  Mississaguez  came  to  Detroit, 
and  incorporating  with  each  other,  by  the  advice  of  Cadillac,  formed 
another  village  near  the  fort  on  the  river;  also  several  households  and 
families  of  the  Miamis  and  some  Nepissirineens,  the  former  incorpo- 
rating themselves  with  the  Hurons  and  the  latter  with  the  Appenagos 
or  Loups  (Wolves).  Also,  as  before  mentioned,  thirty  Hurons  left  the 
Mackinac  mission  and  settled  at  Detroit.  In  the  same  year  the  Otta- 
was  and  Kiskakowas  also  promised  to  come  from  Mackinac.  In  one  of 
his  letters  about  the  opposition  of  the  Jesuits,  dated  Fort  Pontchar- 
train,  August  31,  1703,  Cadillac  says :  "  Can  it  be  believed  that  I  should 
have  been  willing  without  powerful  reasons  to  thwart  any  Jesuits  or 
that  I  should  have  taken  it  into  my  head  to  attack  that  formidable  so- 
ciety? I  have  not  lived  so  long  without  knowing  full  well  how  danger- 
ous it  is  to  cross  their  path.  ...  I  am  doing  my  utmost  to  make 
them  my  friends,  truly  wishing  to  be  theirs,  but  if  I  dare  say  so,  all 
impiety  apart,  it  would  be  better  to  sin  against  God  than  against  them, 
for  on  the  one  hand  pardon  is  received  for  it ;  while  on  the  other,  even 
a  pretended  offense  is  never  forgiven  in  this  world,  and  never  perhaps 
in  the  other,  if  their  influence  were  as  great  as  it  is  in  this  country." 

The  Company  of  the  Colony  proved  to  be  a  rapacious  corporation. 
They  commenced  by  cutting  down  by  one-half  the  prices  paid  in  goods 
to  the  Indians  for  their  peltries,  and  treated  the  aborigines  badly  in 
other  respects,  Cadillac  wrote  in  the  latter  part  of  1702  to  Pontchar- 
train  that  the  company  was  disgusted  with  the  colony,  as  they  were 
losing  trade  and  money,  and  said  if  its  rights  and  privileges  were 
turned  over  to  him  that  he  would  make  Detroit  flourish.  The  com- 
pany had  told  him  that  they  had  lost  12,297  livres  17  sols,  but  that  it 
had  really  made  20,000  livres  profit.  In  criticising  th-e  methods  of  the, 
company  he  showed  that  their  goods  brought  200  per  cent,  profit.  Of 
the  powder  in  stock  at  a  certain  date — 2,015  pounds  costing  21  sols  per 
pound — each  pound  was  exchanged  for  the  skin  of  a  beaver,  roebuck, 
otter,  stag  or  bear;  one  and  a  half  pounds  of  lead,  costing  six  sols  per 
pound,  was  exchanged  for  a  beaver  skin ;  tobacco,  costing  27  sols  per 
pound,  was  exchanged  at  the  rate  of  three-quarters  of  a  pound  for  a 
beaver  skin.  It  was  then  shown  that  the  profit  on  powder  was  200  per 
cent.  ;  on  lead  700  per  cent.  ;  and  on  tobacco  300  to  700  per  cent. 

About  this  time  (1703)  Cadillac  was  much  disquieted  by  the  desertions 
of  his  soldiers.  After  two  years  only  twenty-five  remained  of  the  orig- 
inal force  of  fifty,  and  these  were  afterward  reduced  still  more  in  num- 


ber.  In  his  report  to  Pontchartrain  he  represented  that  some  of  the 
deserters  wished  to  come  back,  giving  as  their  reasons  for  leaving  that 
Governor  Callieres  had  promised  that  their  term  of  enlistment  was  for 
three  years;  that  they  were  overwhelmed  with  work,  and  saw  all  the 
profits  go  to  a  company  that  treated  them  badly;  also  that  they  had 
been  promised  lands  and  had  not  received  them. 

The  settlers  were  generally  healthy,  but  sometimes  the  dreaded 
small  pox  made  its  appearance.  In  1703  it  came  to  Mackinaw  and  car- 
ried off  a  great  many  of  the  aborigines.  Its  ravages  filled  the  Indians 
with  terror,  and  Cadillac  with  characteristic  shrewdness  turned  their 
panic  to  good  account.  "  You  die  of  small-pox  because  you  remain  at 
Mackinaw  instead  of  coming  to  Detroit,"  he  said  to  some  Chippewas 
from  the  north.  "  If  you  persist  in  remaining  there  against  my  wishes 
I  will  send  something  more  deadly  than  small-pox  among  you."  In 
1732  and  in  the  winter  of  1733-34  there  were  also  numerous  cases  of 
small-pox  in  Detroit,  and  many  were  fatal. 


Cadillac  Quells  a  Conspiracy — Agents  of  the  Company  of  the  Colony  Detected  in 
Stealing— Their  Friends  Support  Them— Cadillac  Summoned  to  Montreal  for  Trial. 

In  1703  Cadillac  discovered  that  the  company's  agents  and  Tonty, 
his  second  in  command,  were  guilty  of  gross  mismanagement  and  rob- 
bery. The  Company  of  the  Colony  was  managed  by  a  board  of  direc- 
tors, who  appointed  a  number  of  their  relatives  to  lucrative  clerkships. 
Director  Lotbiniere  appointed  Arnaud,  his  wife's  son-in-law,  and  Mon- 
seignot,  a  brother-in-law  of  Arnaud;  other  clerks  were  Chateleraut,  De 
Meute,  Nolan  and  Desnoyer,  who  were  relatives  of  other  directors.  It 
is  evident  that  Cadillac  was  desirous  of  getting  back  the  control  of  the 
trade  of  the  settlement  and  he  naturally  watched  the  affairs  of  the  com- 
pany, both  as  a  matter  of  duty  and  for  future  advantage.  He  found 
that  Arnaud  and  Nolan  were  charging  exorbitant  prices  for  powder, 
ball  and  tobacco ;  had  screwed  down  the  price  of  peltries  very  low,  and 
that  Tonty  was  in  league  with  them.  Cadillac  denounced  the  robbers 
both    to  the    company    and    to    Governor  Yaudreuil,    and    among  his 


specific  allegations  were  that  they  had  nineteen  packages  of  furs  con- 
cealed in  a  hut  in  the  Huron  village  and  118  other  packages  hidden  in 
the  company's  warehouse,  which  had  not  been  accounted  for,  and 
which  were  valued  at  14,000  crowns,  or  about  $15,400.  When  Vau- 
dreuil  received  the  communication  he  consulted  with  Lotbiniere,  who 
was  his  uncle,  and  also  with  Intendent  Beauharnois.  Lotbiniere  wrote 
a  letter  to  Cadillac  asking  him  to  hush  the  matter  up,  and  promising 
to  arrange  the  matter  amicably  without  scandal,  but  Cadillac  would 
not  be  silenced,  and  finally  an  investigating  committee  was  sent  to  De- 
troit. It  consisted  of  Vencelot,  a  relative  of  a  director;  Lovigny,  a 
brother  in-law  of  Nolan;  and  Chateleraut,  a  relative  of  Lovigny — all 
friends  of  the  accused.  Of  course  such  a  commission  could  only  bring 
in  a  report  favorable  to  the  accused  and  against  Cadillac,  but  it  did 
not  stop  at  that.  The  report  charged  that  the  commandant  and  a 
clerk  named  Radisson  had  been  guilty  of  selling  the  company's  prop- 
erty in  trade  for  furs  on  their  own  account;  that  the  commandant  had 
used  violence  toward  Chief  Clerk  Desnoyer  by  locking  him  up  for  three 
hours,  and  that  he  had  incited  the  Indians  to  demand  the  dismissal  of 
Desnoyer  and  to  object  to  the  removal  of  furs  from  the  fort  until  the 
warehouse  was  filled  with  goods,  and  until  all  the  residents  had  a  right 
to  trade  with  them. 

Cadillac  was  then  summoned  by  Vaudreuil  to  come  to  Quebec,  and 
left  for  that  place  on  September  29,  1704.  On  the  same  day  Lieuten- 
ant Bourgmont  left  Quebec  for  Detroit  to  take  his  place.  No  sooner 
was  Cadillac  gone  than  the  thrifty  Tonty  sold  nearly  all  the  powder 
and  ball  to  the  Indians,  and  thus  left  the  fort  in  great  danger.  When 
Cadillac  arrived  in  Quebec  he  was  arrested  on  the  instance  of  Lot- 
biniere, and  remained  in  durance  for  two  days,  when  he  was  released, 
presumably  on  bail.  The  trial  took  place  in  the  Chateau  St.  Louis, 
before  the  intendant,  ten  months  afterward,  in  June,  1705.  Cadillac's 
defense  was  irresistible,  and  he  was  triumphantly  acquitted,  but  his 
defense  was  not  invulnerable.  He  claimed  that  the  directors  were  per- 
fectly satisfied  with  him  until  the  close  of  1703;  but  Count  Pontchar- 
train,  writing  under  date  of  July  14,  1704,  says  that  he  received  at  the 
same  time  with  Cadillac's  letter  of  August  30,  1703,  a  series  of  com- 
plaints from  the  directors  of  the  company;  and  again,  answering  the 
charges  of  inducing  the  Indians  to  demand  the  dismissal  of  Desnoyer, 
Cadillac  says:  "It  is  an  absurd  subterfuge  to  say  that  the  savages  de- 
manded the  dismissal  so  soon  [three  days]  after  the  arrival  of  Desnoyer. " 

Yet  in  the  same  letter  he  says  that  Desnoyer,  having  arrived  on  the  fifth, 
on  the  eighth  the  savages  demanded  his  removal,  presenting  a  belt. 

His  trouble  with  Desnoyer  is  thus  explained  by  himself.  A  soldier 
of  the  garrison,  who  had  deserted,  was  killed  by  an  Onondaga  Indian 
while  on  his  way  through  the  wilderness  to  Fort  Frontenac.  The 
friendly  Indians,  to  the  number  of  about  one  hundred,  organized  to 
avenge  the  soldier's  death,  and  asked  Cadillac  that  seven  or  eight 
Frenchmen  might  be  allowed  to  go  with  them.  He  acceded  to  their 
request  and  ordered  Tonty  to  command  eight  good  men  of  the  em- 
ployees of  the  company,  and- to  have  provisions  and  ammunition  served 
to  them.  Desnoyer,  the  head  clerk,  said  that  this  could  not  be  done 
without  his  permission,  maintaining  that  Cadillac  had  no  power  to  de- 
tach the  company's  emplo3'ees  on  the  king's  service.  Tonty,  who 
thought  that  Cadillac's  term  of  office  would  be  short  and  that  he  would 
succeed  him,  said  that  he  did  not  believe  that  he  (Cadillac)  had  the 
power  to  order  such  matters.  This  naturally  enraged  Cadillac,  and  he 
had  Desnoyer  put  in  prison — the  sergeant's  quarters — for  three  hours. 
All  this  time  Cadillac  was  corresponding  with  his  friend.  Count  Pont- 
chartrain;  his  letters  had  two  main  strains;  one  was  bitter  denunciation 
of  his  enemies;  and  the  other  was  laudation  of  himself,  together  with 
application  for  a  n:arquisate  and  for  supreme  control  of  the  trade  of 
Detroit  and  Mackinac. 

When  he  was  acquitted  at  Quebec  by  Beauharnois  he  haughtily  re- 
fused to  accept  the  verdict,  claiming  that  the  intendant  had  no  juris- 
diction over  the  case  In  a  letter  from  Pontchartrain  to  Cadillac,  dated 
at  Paris,  September,  1705,  he  was  directed  to  remain  at  Quebec  until 
further  orders.  During  the  time  Tonty  was  commandant  at  Detroit, 
in  1704,  the  Ottawa  chiefs  were  persuaded  to  come  to  Albany,  where 
the  British  gave  them  brandy  and  many  presents,  at  the  same  time 
assuring  them  that  the  French  were  established  at  Detroit  for  the  pur- 
pose of  cheating  them  out  of  all  their  possessions.  The  chiefs  returned 
and  told  their  people,  who  believed  the  story.  An  attempt  was  made 
to  fire  the  fort,  but  the  vigilance  of  the  French  defeated  it.  Later  a 
war  party  made  a  successful  raid  in  the  territory  of  the  Iroquois  and 
returned  with  a  number  of  prisoners;  their  success  made  them  bold 
and  they  assumed  a  hostile  attitude  in  front  of  the  fort.  To  keep  them 
from  becoming  dangerous  Tonty  sent  Sieur  de  Vincennes,  his  lieuten- 
ant, against  them  with  a  company  of  soldiers,  and  rescued  the  prison- 
ers, after  which  they  drove  the  Ottawas  to  a  respectful  distance. 


Although  Cadillac  recommended  the  marriage  of  French  soldiers  to 
Indian  maidens,  and  was  hopeful  of  good  consequences  to  result  there- 
from, the  soldiers  themselves  did  not  see  fit  to  contract  such  matri- 
monial alliances.  The  only  case  on  record  of  a  marriage  of  this  sort 
was  that  of  Peter  Roy.  Father  Denissen,  commenting  on  the  above, 
says:  "These  vigorous  pioneers  did  not  shape  their  love  affairs  on  the 
utilitarian  plan.  The  young  men  grow  lonesome  in  the  wilderness  and 
their  thoughts  would  wander  back  to  the  girls  they  left  behind  them. 
Permission  was  readily  granted  to  any  one  who  wanted  to  return  to 
Lower  Canada  to  secure  a  bride.  According  as  these  treasures  were 
imported  to  Detroit,  the  place  grew  more  civilized  and  the  inhabitants 
felt  more  at  home  and  contented.  The  French  of  Detroit  never  inter- 
married with  the  Indians  to  any  extent;  there  have  been  a  few  excep- 
tional cases,  but  such  marriages  were  rare,  and  because  so  rare,  they 
were  all  the  more  noticed.  No  bride  suits  the  French  heart  as  well  as 
the  frank,  modest,  polite,  charming  French  maiden,  who  has  the  de- 
sirable faculty  to  grace  her  home  as  a  queen  and  bring  happiness  to 
her  surroundings." 

This  statement  of  Father  Denissen,  who  is  perhaps  the  most  accom- 
plished genealogist  of  the  day,  is  all  the  more  valuable,  as  one  or 
more  prominent  writers  have  asserted  that  several  leading  Detroiters 
and  their  families  were  descended  from  French  soldiers  and  their  In- 
dian wives. 

After  Cadillac  was  arrested  he  prepared  himself  for  the  trial  with  all 
the  resources  at  his  command,  one  of  which  was  the  writing  of  an  im- 
aginary conversation  between  himself  and  Count  Pontchartrain,  the 
French  colonial  minister,  in  which  the  points  of  the  controversy  be- 
tween himself  and  the  company,  or  at  least  as  many  as  served  his  pur- 
pose, were  brought  forward,  and  in  which,  of  course,  he  cleared  him- 
self triumphantly.  These  documents,  among  other  papers  of  Cadillac, 
were  preserved,  and  a  large  collection  of  them  was  made  by  General 
Cass,  while  United  States  minister  to  France.  In  after  years  Mrs.  E. 
M.  Sheldon  embodied  these  papers  in  "The  Early  History  of  Michi- 
gan," which  was  published  in  1856,  and  this  work  and  episode  for 
many  years  was  quoted  as  authority  by  writers  of  Michigan,  including 
such  an  able  and  discriminating  writer  as  Judge  J.  V.  Campbell.  In 
her  work  Mrs.  Sheldon  assumes  that  Count  Pontchartrain  had  come  to 
Quebec  and  there  held  the  conversations  with  Cadillac  at  the  Chateau 
of  St.  Louis  in  that  city.      It  was  only  in  1890  that  this  curious  mistake 


was  discovered  by  R.  R.  Elliott,  of  Detroit,  when  he  submitted  his 
manuscript  on  the  Catholic  history  of  Detroit  to  the  late  Dr.  Gilmary 
Shea,  the  historian.  Shea  answered  that  Pontchartrain  was  never  in 
America,  and  that  Cadillac's  papers  should  always  be  corroborated 
with  contemporary  documents  before  being-  accepted.  The  matter  was 
also  referred  to  the  late  Pierre  Margry,  the  French  archivist  and  his- 
torian, who  agreed  with  Dr.  Shea.  Margry  said  that  such  conversa- 
tions were  not  uncommon  in  literature.  "  Fontenelle  published  dia- 
logues of  the  dead,"  he  said.  "  Cadillac  imagined  a  dialogue  of  people 
very  much  alive,  but  living  far  away  from  each  other.  It  was  original 
in  management  and  piquant." 

In  one  of  his  answers  to  one  of  those  imaginary  questions  Cadillac 
says:  "  I  confess  that  the  offers  of  the  British  traders  at  Orange  are  a 
great  attraction  to  the  Indians,  but  experience  shows  us  that  the  sav- 
ages who  are  round  about  Quebec,  Three  Rivers  and  Montreal,  know 
perfectly  well  that  their  furs  sell  better  with  the  English,  and  that  they 
give  them  goods  cheaper,  yet  they  do  all  their  trade  with  us.  Several 
reasons  engage  them  to  this:  The  first  is  that  each  savage,  taking  one 
with  another,  kills  only  fifty  or  sixty  beavers  a  year,  and  as  he  is  near 
the  Frenchman  he  borrows  from  him,  and  is  obliged  to  pay  in  propor- 
tion on  his  return  from  hunting.  Out  of  the  little  which  remains  to 
him  he  is  compelled  to  make  some  purchase  for  his  family,  and  he  finds 
himself  unable  to  go  to  the  English  because  his  remaining  furs  are  not 
worth  the  trouble  of  the  longer  journey.  A  second  reason  is  that  they 
receive  many  flattering  attentions  from  the  French,  who  make  them 
eat  and  drink  with  them,  and  in  fact  they  contrive  matters  so  well  that 
they  never  let  their  furs  escape.  The  desire  to  go  to  the  English  al- 
ways exists  in  them,  but  they  are  skillfully  reduced  so  that  they  are 
unable  to  put  it  into  execution.  It  is  for  this  reason,  if  Detroit  is  not 
settled,  you  will  see,  my  Lord,  all  the  savages  of  that  district  go  to  the 
English,  or  invite  them  to  come  and  settle  among  them." 

Question — Have  you  not  also  some  other  reason?  [for  recommending 
a  settlement  at  Detroit]. 

Answer — Excuse  me,  it  cannot  be  disputed  that  our  savages  used  to 
carry  on  their  hunting  only  to  the  north  of  Lake  St.  Clair;  but  through 
this  post  they  now  carry  it  on  as  far  as  200  leagues  south  of  Lake  Erie, 
inclining  toward  the  sea.  These  furs  which  used  to  form  part  of  the 
English  trade  are  now  carried  into  the  colony  by  the  savages. 

Question — What  skins  are  obtained  in  those  places? 


Answer — The  skins  o£  deer,  roe,  elk,  roebuck,  black  bears,  bisons, 
wolves,  wildcats,  otters,  beaver  and  other  small  skins.  [In  1701  the 
reports  show  that  beaver  skins  were  not  much  used,  and  they  had  little 
commercial  value. — Ed.]  These  skins  are  now  in  request.  Skins  of 
the  deer  and  roe  bring  sixteen  livres  each ;  those  of  the  elk  up  to 
twenty  livres;  black  bears  ten,  roebuck  five  livres,  and  other  skins  in 

Question — Can  not  some  means  be  found  of  employing  the  savages 
in  hunting  for  them  instead  of  the  beaver,  which  has  lost  its  reputation 
as  merchandise  and  is  burdensome  to  France  because  there  is  no  de. 
mand  for  it? 

Answer — It  will  be  easy  to  so  employ  the  savages  provided  they  are 
supplied  with  goods  to  the  value  of  the  skins.  This  will  be  an  in- 
fallible way  to  create  a  demand  for  beaver  in  the  kingdoms,  since  in- 
stead of  130,000,  which  are  received  every  year  at  the  office  in  Quebec, 
only  about  70,000  will  be  received  each  year.  I  am  not  speaking  of 
the  beaver  of  the  Bay  of  Canada. 

Question — Apparently  Father  Valliant  contributed  greatly  by  his  ex- 
hortations to  advancing  the  work  at  Detroit. 

Answer — He  exerted  himself  for  this  so  well  that,  if  the  soldiers  and 
Canadians  had  believed  him,  they  would  have  set  out  after  two  days 
to  return  to  Montreal  on  the  promise  that  this  father  made  them,  that 
he  would  get  their  wages  paid  to  them  by  the  intendant  for  the  whole 
year,  although  they  had  been  employed  but  six  weeks. 

In  another  of  these  imaginary  conversations  he  discusses  the  Company 
of  the  Colony  as  follows: 

Question  [by  Count  Pontchartrain] — I  could  not  dispense  with  grant- 
ing the  trade  of  Detroit  to  the  Company  of  the  Colony,  which  promised 
me  to  do  everything  in  its  power  to  make  the  settlement  a  success. 

Answer — If  you  had  known  its  power  you  would  have  hoped  for 
nothing  from  it ;  it  is  the  most  beggarly  and  chimerical  company  that 
ever  existed.  I  had  as  lief  see  Harlequin  emperor  of  the  moon.  It 
was  this  company  that  entirel)^  upset  my  scheme  by  consistently  op- 
posing your  intentions  in  an  underhand  manner,  the  whole  being  cun- 
ningly managed  by  the  Jesuits  of  that  country. 

In  one  instance  Cadillac  himself  confesses  the  nature  of  these  imaginary 
conversations — a  fact  which  has  been  generally  overlooked.  He  makes 
complaint  that  his  letters  have  been  opened,  and  then  puts  these  words 
in  the  mouth  of  Count  Pontchartrain : 


Question— What  is  this  you  tell  me?  Is  it  really  true  that  there  was 
any  one  audacious  enough  to  open  the  letters  you  addressed  to  me?  Do 
they  not  know  it  is  a  sacred  matter,  and  that  such  curiosity  is  a  crime 
and  an  atrocious  insult  to  a  minister  of  state,  and  that  no  one  is  per- 
mitted to  open  the  letters  which  a  commanding  officer  writes  to  me? 

Answer — This  is  quite  certain,  and  no  one  ought  to  be  ignorant  of  it; 
but  it  is  absolutely  beyond  doubt  that  my  letters  have  been  opened  and 
that  copies  of  them  have  been  made.  In  do  not  even  know  whether  the 
originals  have  been  sent  to  you,  and  it  is  really  the  purport  of  my  let- 
ters and  of  this  little  catechism  which  has  stirred  up  against  me  all  the 
difficulties  which  I  now  have  on  my  hands,  from  which  I  hope  you  will 
have  the  goodness  to  release  me  by  punishing  the  hatred  or  rather  the 
fury  of  those  who  are  plotting  my  ruin — founded  upon  this,  that  I  have 
maintained  with  so  much  vigor  the  preserving  of  Fort  Pontchartrain, 
the  success  of  which  they  have  been  unable  to  interrupt. 

His  allusion  to  "this  little  catechism"  can  hardly  be  mistaken,  for 
it  is  nothing  less  than  a  confession  that  it  is  a  conversation  of  the 
writer's  fancy.  The  catechism,  which  is  an  entirety,  is  divided  into 
three  parts,  and  the  scenes  are  laid  at  intervals  of  a  year  or  more  apart. 
No  one  carefully  reading  the  whole  matter  would  be  led  to  suppose  that 
this  conversation  actually  took  place.  In  explanation  of  the  charges 
upon  which  he  was  tried  in  Quebec,  in  1705,  Cadillac  produces  an  elab- 
orate conversation,  of  which  the  following  questions  and  answers  are  a 

Question — Give  me  an  exact  account  and  tell  me  without  disguising 
anything,  whether  you  are  guilty  of  all  you  are  accused  of,  and  as  to 
the  complaints  which  the  directors  of  the  company  have  made  against 
you,  and  whether  it  is  true  that  you  have  transacted  trade  and  been 
guilty  of  malversations  at  Detroit.  If  you  are  innocent  justify  your- 
self and  prove  your  integrity  and  your  innocence,  and  be  assured  that 
when  once  I  know  it  you  shall  have  my  pretection. 

Answer — It  is  only  the  force  of  the  truth  which  I  maintain,  which 
gives  me  the  strength  to  appear  before  you  with  so  much  persever- 
ance and  firmness.  This,  then,  is  the  origin  of  my  dispute.  I  con- 
victed M.  de  Tonty  and  two  clerks  of  the  company  of  having  traded  at 
Detroit,  although  they  were  bound  by  a  valid  contract  not  to  do  so. 

Question — Has  this  trading  been  proved? 

Answer — It  is  indisputable,  they  have  been  caught  in  the  act  without 
the  possibility  of  gainsaying  it. 


Question— No  doubt  you  seized  the  skins  which  these  clerks  wished 
to  smuggle? 

Answer That  was  so  done,  but  what  seems  to  me  to  be  the  most  hein- 
ous offense  is  that  the  skins  are  taken  from  the  company's  own  ware- 
house, or  at  least  it  appears  that  they  came  from  merchandise  belong- 
ing to  the  company  which  they  have  sold  to  the  savages  converting  the 
payment  [in  peltryj  to  their  own  use. 

Question— Did  you  question  these  clerks,  and  did  they  agree  that 
these  nineteen  packages  belonged  to  them,  and  were  the  proceeds  of 
their  trading? 

Answer— That  is  so;  they  did  not  deny  the  fact,  and  both  signed 
their  deposition  and  their  own  condemnation. 

Question — Is  that  all  you  seized? 

Answer — There  also  are  four  other  packages  of  beaver  or  other  skins 
which  I  seized  even  in  the  warehouse  of  the  company,  marked  with  the 
name  of  Arnaud. 

Question— How  did  you  discover  the  theft  of  these  four  packages? 

Answer — This  was  discovered  through  two  beaver  skins  marked  with 
the  mark  of  the  company's  warehouse,  and  with  the  number  239,  which 
served  as  a  wrapper  for  forty  roebuck  skins.  The  two  beaver  skins  were 
not  yet  spoilt,  though  they  had  been  thrown  into  a  cellar  full  of  water 
under  an  empty  house.  This  made  me  conclude  that  the  warehouse 
had  been  plundered.  I  paid  it  a  visit  and  that  was  the  cause  of  my 
finding  these  four  packages  which  Arnaud  had  concealed  there. 

Question — Are  you  not  aware  that  these  clerks  have  been  guilty  of 
great  malversations,  though,  however,  those  are  quite  enough  to  hang 

Answer — Pardon  me,  I  know  they  have  smuggled  or  stolen  about 
118  packages,  worth,  according  to  my  reckoning,  1,400  crowns.  It  is 
true  that  I  am  suffering  unheard  of  persecution  for  having  done  my 
duty.  If  you  do  not  have  compassion  on  me  I  do  not  see  how  to  extri- 
cate myself  from  it. 

Question — What  are  you  accused  of?    Who  are  those  that  complain? 

Answer — I  have  done  no  wrong  in  this  matter;  it  is  the  directors  who 
make  complaint  against  me;  it  is  their  clerks  who  are  my  accusers. 

Question — Did  they  accuse  you  before  you  denounced  them  to  the 


Answer — Not  at  all ;  it  was  ten  months  after  I  had  forwarded  the  dep- 
dtions  signed  by   themselves.     This  is  their  first  accusation,  that  I 


compelled  them  to  sell  goods  to  the  Indians  at  a  low  price  and  at  a  loss; 
that  it  was  an  act  of  violence.  The  late  Governor  M.  de  Callieres  gave 
orders  that  goods  were  to  be  sold  to  the  savages  of  Fort  Frontenac  at 
twenty  five  per  cent. ,  and  to  those  of  Detroit  at  fifty  per  cent,  profit. 
The  sole  means  of  retaining  them  in  our  interest  was  to  give  them 
goods  at  a  reasonable  price.  In  a  letter  from  M.  de  Vaudreuil  of 
April  14,  1704,  he  writes  me  in  these  terms:  "Although  I  tell 
you,  Monsieur,  to  allow  M.  Desnoyer  to  carry  out  the  orders  which 
he  has  from  the  board  of  directors,  it  is  supposing  always  that  the 
interests  of  the  king's  service  are  not  concerned.  I  tell  you  also  that  in 
some  cases  it  will  not  be  amiss  to  trade  on  the  old  tariff.  Try,  how- 
ever, to  be  careful  of  the  company's  interests."  You  should,  indeed, 
rather  blame  the  governor  and  intendant  for  permitting  the  directors 
to  cavil  at  me,  when  I  had  forgotten  their  orders  and  acted  in  the  in- 
terest of  the  company  in  such  a  difficult  juncture,  for  the  English  had 
sent  a  necklace  to  Fort  Pontchartrain  and  a  list  of  prices  of  their  goods, 
which  they  promised  to  sell  two-thirds  cheaper  than  the  company. 

Question — Let  us  pass  now  to  other  matters,  and  tell  me  whether 
they  complain  of  violence  on  your  part. 

Answer — Yes,  they  impute  to  me  as  a  capital  offense  having  used 
abusive  language  to  their  clerks,  under  the  pretext,  they  say,  that 
they  did  not  pay  me  the  respect  which  I  claimed  to  be  due  to  me. 
The  third  count  of  their  complaint  is  that  when  they  sent  Desnoyer  to 
replace  the  principal  clerk,  Arnaud,  they  say,  that  on  his  arrival  I  de- 
tained him  more  than  two  hours  in  my  room  under  the  pretense  of 
reading  and  inveighing  against  the  letters  that  had  been  written  tome, 
in  order  that  Radisson,  another  clerk,  might  have  time  to  remove  cer- 
tain papers  which  he  and  I  wished  to  conceal ;  and  this  is  given  as  the 
reason  why  the  board  of  directors  have  not  been  able  to  obtain  the  in- 
formation they  need  to  convict  me.  Desnoyer  brought  me  many  let- 
ters, and  I  invited  him  to  take  breakfast  in  my  house  while  I  read 
them,  which  he  did.  It  occupied  half  an  hour,  after  which  I  dismissed 
this  new  clerk  to  go  and  carry  out  his  orders.  I  cautioned  him  to  do 
his  work  with  as  little  commotion  as  possible,  as  the  Indians  were  not 
accustomed  to  see  seals  put  on  chests,  cupboards  or  cash  boxes,  nor  on 
the  doors  of  the  warehouse,  which  things  are  contrary  to  the  freedom 
which  is  very  precious  to  the  tribes. 

Question — It  is  not  true  then  that  Radisson  removed  any  papers? 

Answer — I  had  no  knowledge  of  it.  Radisson  says  it  is  a  falsehood 
and  a  fabrication  of  Desnoyer. 


Question What  gave  rise  to  the  charge  that  you  had  influenced  the 

Indians  to  oppose  the  removal  of  furs  until  the  stock  of  merchandise  had 
been  brought  to  the  warehouse? 

Answer — It  is  because  Desnoyer,  and  the  other  clerks  who  came  with 
him,  maliciously  gave  out  that  they  came  for  the  purpose  of  sending 
down  the  skins  only,  and  that  they  would  not  bring  them  goods  for 
exchange ;  in  order  to  compel  them  to  abandon  the  post,  no  doubt  ac- 
cording to  private  instructions  they  had.  This  is  what  offended  the 
Indians.  The  first  time  I  imprisoned  Desnoyer  he  was  confined  in  the 
sergeant's  room  for  three  hours,  because  he  opposed  my  orders  when  I 
would  have  sent  some  of  the  company's  employees  to  assist  in  punish- 
ing some  Indians  who  had  murdered  a  soldier.  I  imprisoned  him 
again  when  I  found  that,  contrary  to  the  regulations  of  the  post,  he 
had  loaded  a  boat  with  furs,  manned  it  with  eight  men,  and  was  set- 
ting out  for  Montreal  without  having  given  notice. 

Count  Pontchartrain,  when  he  received  the  proceedings  of  the  trial, 
read  between  the  lines  of  the  complaints  and  the  evidence  submitted, 
and  plainly  saw  that  it  was  a  conspiracy  to  cast  down  his  protege.  He 
practically  took  the  case  out  of  Governor  Vaudreuil's  hands  and  or- 
dered that  the  defendant  be  exonerated.  He  wrote  the  governor  that 
he  entirely  approved  of  Cadillac's  course  at  Detroit,  and  that  he  upheld 
him  in  maintaining  the  supremacy  of  his  majesty's  interests  over  and 
above  the  interests  of  the  Company  of  the  Colony.  Governor  Vaudreuil 
was  reprimanded  for  being  a  party  to  the  conspiracy,  which  had  evidently 
been  fomented  against  Cadillac,  and  was  told  that  a  repetition  of  such 
conduct  would  cause  his  dismissal  from  office.  Intendant  Beauharnois 
was  also  warned  that  intrigues  detrimental  to  the  interests  of  the 
colonies  would  not  be  tolerated.  Cadillac  was  ordered  reinstated  at 
Detroit  in  full  control,  both  civil  and  military.  The  Company  of  the 
Colony  was  deprived  of  its  legislative  and  administrative  functions,  and 
the  trading  privileges  of  the  post  were  vested  in  Cadillac  according  to 
the  original  understanding.  The  commandant  was  thus  completely 
vindicated  and  restored  to  full  power. 




Father  Del  Halle,  the  First  Pastor  of  St.  Anne's  Church,  Murdered  by  the  In- 
dians— Cadillac  is  Sent  from  Montreal  to  Punish  the  Murderer — His  Enemies  Seek 
to  Compromise  Him  with  the  Indians  and  with  his  Superiors — 1706-1708. 

As  before  stated,  Cadillac  left  the  post  under  the  care  of  Captain 
Tonty,  but  Lieut.  Louis  Bourgmont  was  sent  from  Quebec  to  act  as 
commandant  shortly  afterward,  arriving  in  Detroit  on  January  29, 
1705.  The  reason  for  this  does  not  appear.  Bourgmont  was  a  big, 
blustering  fellow  of  great  strength  and  violent  temper.  He  had  the 
effrontery  to  bring  his  mistress,  a  notorious  woman  known  as  La 
Chenette,  to  Detroit,  and  the  pair  created  no  little  scandal  at  the  post. 
Friendly  Indians  were  allowed  many  liberties  about  the  post  after  they 
had  deposited  their  arms  with  the  guards  at  the  gate,  and  they  never 
tired  of  peering  into  the  houses  to  admire  the  finery  of  the  white  man's 
home.  One  June  day  a  young  Ottawa  named  Tichinet  was  peering 
about  Bourgmont's  house,  when  the  commandant's  dog  bit  him  in  the 
leg.  He  gave  the  brute  a  lusty  kick  which  sent  it  howling  to  its  mas- 
ter. Bourgmont  rushed  out  of  the  house  and  fell  upon  the  Indian  in  a 
fury  of  passion.  The  Ottawa  was  left  senseless  on  the  ground,  and 
he  soon  died  of  his  injuries.  This  naturally  made  a  stir  in  the  Ottawa 
village,  for  Bourgmont's  brutal  ways  had  already  given  offense.  He 
had  shown  special  favors  to  the  Miamis,  and  as  a  party  of  these  peo- 
ple were  on  their  way  to  the  fort,  the  Ottawas  attacked  them  and  killed 
five.  As  they  pursued  the  survivors  to  the  gate  of  the  fort,  Bourgmont 
ordered  his  soldiers  to  fire  upon  them,  and  several  fell.  As  they  passed 
the  garden  of  Father  Del  Halle,  which  was  just  east  of  the  fort,  about 
where  Woodward  and  Jefferson  avenues  now  intersect,  they  saw  the 
priest  attending  to  his  flowers.  Several  young  braves,  hot  headed  and 
bloodthirsty,  rushed  in,  seized  him,  and  he  was  stabbed  three  times. 
They  resolved  to  take  him  to  their  village,  but  a  chief  met  them  on  the 
way  and  ordered  them  to  release  their  captive,  who  had  always  been 
friendly  to  the  Indians,  and  had  shown  them  much  kindness.  Father 
Del  Halle,  weak  from  the  loss  of  blood,  staggered  slowly  toward  the 


fort.  As  he  arrived  at  the  gate  a  big  Ottawa  chief  named  Le  Pesant, 
who  was  waiting  under  cover  for  a  shot  at  one  of  the  soldiers,  sent  a 
bullet  through  the  priest,  and  several  other  shots  stretched  him  dead  at 
the  gate  of  the  fort.  A  soldier  named  La  Riviere,  who  had  been  work- 
ing outside  the  post,  was  killed  later  in  the  day.  Firing  continued 
from  five  o'clock  in  the  evening  until  midnight  and  for  forty  days 
after,  and  then  the  Ottawas  retired  to  Mackinac. 

Father  Nicholas  Constantine  Del  Halle  was  the  first  priest  of  St. 
Anne's.  He  accompanied  Cadillac  and  his  party  and  was  present  at 
the  founding  of  Fort  Pontchartrain.  Father  Francois  Valliant,  a  Jesuit 
who  had  also  accompanied  the  party  of  the  founding  had  gone  to  Fort 
Frontenac,  and  this  left  the  Franciscan  friar  Del  Halle  as  chaplain  of 
the  post  and  pastor  of  St.  Anne's.  The  first  record  of  the  church  was 
written  by  Father  Del  Halle  January  27,  1704,  but  there  may  have 
been  other  records  which  were  destroyed  when  the  church  was  burned 
in  1703.  The  priest  was  killed  on  June  6,  1706,  and  was  interred  in 
the  post  cemetery,  which  was  situated  a  short  distance  north  of  the  gar- 
den where  he  was  seized.  It  was  quite  natural  that  this  affair  should 
create  great  excitement  both  among  the  whites  and  among  the  Indians. 
Justice  demanded  the  punishment  of  the  murderer,  and  to  avoid  retri- 
bution a  number  of  the  Ottawas,  including  Le  Pesant,  returned  to 
Mackinaw.  The  Miamis  looked  to  the  soldiers  to  avenge  them  for  the 
killing  of  their  people,  and  the  Ottawas  were  angry  with  the  whites  for 
firing  upon  them.  Reports  of  the  trouble  came  to  Quebec  and  Gover- 
nor Vaudreuil  ordered  the  Ottawas  to  send  a  delegation  to  him,  with 
the  person  of  Le  Pesant,  the  slayer  of  the  priest,  in  custody.  Twelve 
chiefs  headed  by  Jean  Le  Blanc,  whose  tribal  name  was  Ontonagon, 
arrived  before  the  governor  June  16,  1707,  and  Vaudreuil  demanded 
the  head  of  Le  Pesant,  otherwise  known  as  the  Great  Bear,  on  account 
of  his  huge  bulk  and  surly  disposition.  "  Le  Pesant  is  a  chief  of  great 
influence  among  our  people,"  answered  Le  Blanc,  who  was  the  sole 
spokesman.  "  He  is  seventy  years  of  age  and  has  been  a  great  war- 
rior, as  he  is  now  mighty  in  council.  He  has  many  descendants  among 
many  tribes.  Like  the  great  oak  his  roots  and  branches  extend  every- 
where, and  if  we  give  him  up,  his  death  would  cause  a  general  war. 
Here  are  two  Pawnee  slaves  we  have  brought  in  place  of  the  good 
gray  robe,  whose  life  we  cannot  restore. " 

Vaudreuil  insisted  that  the  gift  of  the  two  slaves  could  not  atone  for 
the  death  of  a  holy  man  of  the  church,  and  insisted  that  Le  Pesant  be 
brought  to  ju.stice. 


"My  father  demands  justice  for  the  death  of  the  gray  robe,  but  his 
justice  would  cost  dear,"  answered  Le  Blanc.  "  If  Le  Pesant  is  given 
up,  the  Ottawas,  Potawatomies,  Chippewas  and  several  other  tribes 
will  war  against  the  Miamis  and  the  Frenchmen.  Many  scalps  would 
be  taken  and  the  wigwams  would  be  filled  with  mourning.  I  am  a 
chief  as  well  as  Le  Pesant,  and  I  am  not  afraid  to  die.  If  my  father 
must  slay,  that  his  wrath  may  be  appeased,  here  is  my  tomahawk.  It 
is  better  that  my  wigwams  should  be  desolate  than  that  many  of  my 
people  should  be  destroyed  in  war.  Strike!  my  father,  and  let  my  life 
atone  for  that  of  the  priest. " 

Vaudreuil  was  nonplused  at  this  turn  of  affairs,  so  he  told  the  chiefs 
to  depart  for  Detroit  by  way  of  Lake  Erie,  and  there  make  such  atone- 
ment as  Cadillac  would  demand.  Cadillac  had  been  instructed  by  let- 
ter that  the  murderer  must  be  brought  to  justice,  and  Vaudreuil  was 
probably  glad  to  get  rid  of  the  responsibility  of  so  grave  a  complication, 
as  if  trouble  followed  it  would  recoil  upon  the  head  of  the  commandant 
whom  he  hated. 

Meanwhile  Cadillac  had  returned  to  Detroit  and  assumed  the  reins 
of  power.  He  had  heard  of  the  tragedy  on  the  way,  two  days  after  he 
left  Montreal.  He  brought  with  him  several  artisans  and  farmers  who 
settled  at  the  post.  On  his  return  the  Company  of  the  Colony  sold  out 
its  interest  at  the  post  to  him,  and  then  renewed  its  activity  toward 
making  Mackinaw  the  favored  post  of  the  French.  Unharmed  and 
undismayed  by  all  the  shafts  of  hate,  envy  and  malice  that  had  been 
leveled  against  him,  Caidllac  grew  livelier  and  stronger  after  every  at- 
tack, and  his  vivacity  and  combativeness  seemed  inexhaustible.  He 
was  a  peculiar  man  and  his  character  is  hard  to  describe,  his  virtues 
and  faults  revealing  themselves  at  every  step  in  his  career.  He  had 
the  physical  and  moral  courage  of  a  great  leader ;  he  was  too  proud  to 
be  dishonest,  although  he  was  intensely  self-seeking;  and  he  was  far- 
seeing  and  perspicacious  in  colonization  matters  beyond  any  of  his  con- 
temporaries in  New  France,  but  his  mentality  was  more  active  than 
profound,  and  his  convictions  were  changeable.  Ever  bubbling  over 
with  ideas,  like  champagne  in  a  full  goblet,  he  had  plans  for  a  copper 
mine  on  Lake  Huron;  for  silk  culture  among  the  mulberry  trees  near 
Lake  Erie;  for  grants  of  land  to  his  soldiers  and  himself;  to  be  en- 
nobled as  a  marquis  and  be  the  chief  ruler  of  the  Northwest;  for  a 
uniformed  Indian  militia;  for  a  seminary  to  teach  the  French  language 
to  the  savages  around  the  post ;  and  for  marrying  the  Indian  maidens 


to  his  soldiers.  The  last  named  plan  was,  however,  a  failure.  Con- 
cerning the  Indian  character  he  had  committed  himself  as  follows: 
"The  savage  himself  asks  why  they  do  not  leave  him  his  beggary,  his 
liberty  and  his  idleness ;  he  was  born  in  it  and  he  wished  to  die  in  it. 
It  is  a  life  to  which  he  has  been  accustomed  since  Adam.  Do  they  wish 
to  build  palaces  and  ornament  them  with  beautiful  furniture?  He 
would  not  exchange  his  wigwam  and  the  mat  on  which  he  camps  like 
a  monkey,  for  the  Louvre.  An  attempt  to  overthrow  the  present  state 
of  affairs  in  this  country  would  only  result  in  the  ruin  of  commerce  and 
the  destruction  of  the  colony."  But  in  1703,  in  the  environment  of 
Detroit,  flushed  with  well  earned  success  as  a  colonizer  and  in  more 
intimate  relations  with  the  Indians  than  ever  before,  he  enthusiastically 
exclaims:  "It  seems  that  God  had  raised  me  as  another  Moses  to  go 
and  deliver  this  people  from  captivity,  or  rather  as  Caleb,  to  bring 
them  back  to  the  land  of  their  fathers.  .  .  Meanwhile  Montreal 
[the  Jesuits]  plays  the  part  of  Pharoah ;  he  cannot  see  this  emigration 
without  trembling." 

In  his  copious  letters  to  Count  Pontchartrain,  his  information  on  the 
condition  of  the  colony  was  always  interlarded  with  denunciation  of  his 
enemies.  A  conspiracy  to  ruin  him  was  ever  in  progress  among  the 
company  while  it  was  in  existence,  its  officials,  the  Jesuits,  the  coureurs 
lie  bois  and  his  own  subordinate  officers.  There  was  a  good  deal  of 
truth  in  these  statements,  of  course,  but  he  was  too  aggressive  and  too 
bitter  in  his  sarcasms,  and  much  given  to  egotistic  boasting,  and  these 
qualities  were  not  calculated  to  gain  many  friends  for  their  possessor. 
At  one  time  it  was  proposed,  probably  by  Cadillac  himself,  that  the 
settlement  should  be  removed  to  Grosse  Isle,  below  Detroit,  which  fronts 
on  the  water  on  each  side  for  a  distance  of  eight  miles,  but  Cadillac 
saw  that  it  would  be  inconvenient  for  its  inhabitants  to  bring  food, 
firewood  and  all  necessary  supplies  from  the  mainland.  For  this  reason, 
and  not  because  Grosse  Isle  was  too  small  for  the  future  growth  of  his 
capital,  he  rejected  the  proposition  to  go  there. 

Although  Cadillac  purchased  the  goods  of  the  company  left  at  the 
post,  he  did  not  succeed  to  all  their  privileges,  which  included  the  sole 
right  to  trade  and  was  very  profitable.  Close  limits  were  placed  on 
Cadillac's  trading  privileges  so  that  his  profits  would  be  quite  moderate. 
One  of  his  most  valuable  perquisites  was  that  he  might  have  three 
hundred  pounds  of  freight  brought  in  each  canoe  arriving  at  the  settle- 
ment, free  of  charge. 


Shortly  before  Cadillac's  return  Lieutenant  Bourgmont,  whose  brutal 
conduct  led  to  such  grave  troubles,  left  the  post,  accompanied  by  La 
Chenette,  and  later  correspondence  says  that  they  built  a  wigwam  in 
the  wilderness  and  lived  together  as  savages  during  the  rest  of  their 
days.  This  was  not  an  uncommon  circumstance  for  Frenchmen  with 
vagrant  tastes,  who  had  settled  in  New  France,  but  it  was  very  infre- 
quent with  white  women  who  had  once  known  civilized  ways. 

Cadiirac's  most  difficult  duty  was  to  restore  peace  and  order  among 
the  turbulent  Indians  in  his  midst  and  within  his  jurisdiction.  When 
he  received  the  letter  from  Vaudreuil  ordering  justice  done  in  regard 
to  the  murdered  priest,  but  not  specifying  the  manner  in  which  it 
should  be  accomplished,  he  recognized  the  hand  of  his  enemy.  He 
was  an  abler  man  than  Vaudreuil,  and  he  must  have  smiled  and  simply 
said  that  he  would  surmount  the  difficulty  without  compromising  him- 
self with  either  the  Indians  or  the  government.  So  he  commenced  by 
calling  a  council  with  the  twelve  Ottawa  chiefs,  and  telling  them  that 
he  had  no  discretion  in  the  matter;  that  Governor  Vaudreuil  had  com- 
manded that  Le  Pesant's  head  must  atone  for  the  murder  of  the 
priest  and  that  of  the  soldier  La  Riviere.  They  must  go  to  Mackinaw, 
he  said,  take  Le  Pesant  into  custody  at  all  hazards,  and  bring  him  to 
to  Detroit.  At  the  same  time  he  informed  the  Indians  secretly, 
through  an  agent,  that  Le  Pesant  would  come  to  no  harm,  but  he  must 
make  a  show  of  obedience  and  trust  his  life  in  the  hands  of  the  Detroit 
commandant.  While  this  information  was  secretly  given  he  also  ad- 
vised Meyaville,  Sakima  and  Kataoulibois,  three  chiefs  of  other  tribes,  to 
kill  Le  Pesant  if  he  refused  to  come.  Le  Pesant  was  made  to  understand 
the  case  and  he  came  to  Detroit  by  canoe,  in  charge  of  the  three  chiefs 
already  named,  and  accompanied  by  ten  relatives  to  see  that  no  harm 
came  to  him  on  the  journey.  Le  Pesant  was  delivered  up  and  locked 
in  a  warehouse  over  night  to  be  arraigned  next  morning.  Cadillac  saw 
that  his  execution  would  be  followed  by  serious  consequences,  and  is 
charged  with  conniving  at  his  escape.  At  any  rate  Le  Pesant,  who 
was  very  fat  and  over  seventy  years,  waddled  out  of  his  prison  and 
scrambled  over  the  palisades  about  four  o'clock  next  morning,  and 
none  of  the  soldiers  saw  his  escape. 

Immediately  the  Miamis  were  furious  at  the  commandant,  and  to 
appease  them  the  chiefs  were  ordered  to  return  Le  Pesant.  They  com- 
plied and  Le  Pesant  was  given  up.  In  a  letter  of  complaint  from  Gov- 
ernor Vaudreuil  to  Count  Pontchartrain,  the  delivery  is  described. 


Ontanagon  stepped  forward  with  his  hand  on  the  shoulder  of  the 
murderer,  saying:  "Here  is  Le  Pesant,  who  came  into  our  camp. 
You  have  the  power  to  put  him  to  death.  He  is  your  slave.  You  can 
make  him  eat  under  your  table  like  the  dog  that  picks  up  the  bones." 
Cadillac  regarded  the  prisoner  sternly  and  thus  addressed  him :  "  There 
you  are,  Le  Pesant,  before  your  father  and  your  master.  Is  this  that 
great  chief  that  was  so  well  related  and  so  highly  esteemed?  Was  it 
you  that  ate  white  bread  every  day  at  my  table  and  drank  of  my  brandy 
and  my  wine?  It  was  you  that  had  an  incurable  disease  of  which  I  had 
you  cured  by  my  physicians.  Was  it  not  you  that  I  helped  in  your 
need  and  took  care  of  your  family?  And  because  of  all  these  benefits 
you  have  killed  my  people!  You,  who  hide  yourself  and  droop  your 
eyes,  was  it  not  you  who  went  every  day  to  the  gray  robe,  who  used  to 
caress  you,  and  made  you  eat  with  him  and  taught  you?  Yet  it  was 
you  who  killed  him.  There  are  reproaches,  Pesant,  which  slay  you. 
There  is  no  longer  life  in  your  heart;  your  eyes  are  half  dead;  you 
close  them;  they  dare  not  look  at  the  sun.      Go,  my  slave." 

Le  Pesant  had  been  overcome  with  terror,  but  the  last  sentence  gave 
him  courage.  The  other  Indians,  many  of  whom  were  from  Mackinaw, 
were  pleased  at  the  way  affairs  were  going,  and  Cadillac  was  resolved 
to  win  them  to  Detroit.  One  of  the  Ottawa  chiefs  addressed  him, 
saying : 

"Our  father  is  kind  to  his  children  who  have  angered  him.  We 
want  to  come  back  to  his  protection.  Give  us  back  our  fields  which  we 
have  deserted  and  we  will  come  to  live  in  peace.  The  corn  at  Mack- 
inaw grows  but  a  finger  long,  while  here  it  is  a  cubit  long.  M.  de  St. 
Pierre  told  us  we  should  be  slaves  if  we  came  to  Detroit.  He  took  us 
apart  to  tell  us.  That  made  us  think  he  was  a  liar.  He  wanted  us  to 
go  to  Quebec  and  ask  Onontio  [Governor  Vaudreuil]  to  make  him  com- 
mandant at  Mackinaw.  The  black  robes  [the  Jesuits]  dissuade  us 
from  coming  to  Detroit." 

Cadillac  arose  and  presented  a  beautiful  belt  of  wampum,  saying: 
"Your  submission  has  gained  m.y  heart.  Your  obedience  has  made 
the  axe  fall  from  my  hand.  It  has  saved  your  lives  and  the  lives  of 
your  families.  And  you,  Le  Pesant,  why  have  you  fled  from  me  in 
fear?  You  deserve  to  die,  but  I  give  you  your  life,  because  of  your 
submission  and  obedience.  You  are  as  one  dead,  because  you  have 
been  given  up  to  justice,  but  I  stay  my  hand  and  let  you  go  to  your 


This  took  place  on  September  24,  1707.  There  was  great  rejoicing- 
among  the  Ottawas,  who  immediately  settled  upon  the  lands  they  had 
deserted  in  Detroit  when  they  fled  to  Mackinaw  after  the  trouble  in 
June  of  the  previous  year.  Le  Pesant  was  one  of  the  settlers,  and  as 
he  had  been  the  leader  of  the  party  which  killed  the  five  Miamis,  his 
presence  was  hateful  to  the  friends  of  the  dead.  The  Miamis  were  not 
to  be  appeased  by  Cadillac's  blandishments  and  presents,  but  waited 
for  revenge. 

Four  weeks  later  an  army  of  Iroquois  came  back  from  a  war  with 
the  Tetes  Plattes  (Flathead)  Indians  of  the  far  west,  and  one  band  of 
twenty  four  braves  stopped  at  Detroit.  They  were  entertained  by  the 
Miamis,  and  the  two  tribes  plotted  for  the  destruction  of  the  fort  and 
the  murder  of  Cadillac.  They  waited  for  the  rest  of  the  Iroquois  to 
arrive  from  the  west,  and  while  they  were  waiting  the  plot  was  re- 
vealed. When  the  garrison  was  put  on  its  guard  the  attempt  was 
abandoned,  but  the  Miamis  killed  three  Frenchmen  who  were  at  some 
distance  from  the  fort  and  destroyed  several  cattle.  Cadillac  demand- 
ed the  surrender  of  the  murderers  and  payment  for  the  cattle.  Fifteen 
bundles  of  furs  were  given  in  compensation  for  the  loss  of  the  cattle, 
but  the  surrender  of  the  murderers  was  deferred  for  twenty  days. 
They  were  not  surrendered  on  time,  and  the  commandant  started  on 
an  expedition  against  the  Miami  fort,  near  the  site  of  Toledo.  His 
expedition  is  treated  very  scornfully  in  one  of  Governor  Vaudreuil's 
letters  of  complaint  to  Count  Pontchartrain.  He  says:  "Had  M.  de 
la  Mothe  been  less  obstinate  and  had  he  obeyed  my  instructions,  all 
this  trouble  would  have  been  averted.  He  assumes  the  airs  of  a  gov- 
ernor and  gives  himself  equal  authority  with  me  when  he  is  dealing 
with  the  savages.  ■  'I  and  Onontio  will  protect  you,'  he  tells  them. 
He  led  his  troops  against  the  Miamis  after  he  had  given  them  unneces- 
sary irritation,  thinking  no  doubt  they  would  not  be  found  at  their  fort. 
He  found  sixty  of  them  in  a  fort,  which  was  a  mere  square  of  logs 
without  flanking  bastions,  and  when  his  men  opened  fire  M.  de  la 
Mothe  concealed  himself  behind  a  tree  at  least  eighteen  feet  in  circum- 
ference and  stirred  not  from  that  post.  He  ought  to  have  carried  the 
place  at  the  sword's  point.  The  fort  finally  surrendered  and  the  Mi- 
amis gave  three  hostages  to  pledge  the  surrender  of  the  murderers. 
They  gave  M.  de  la  Mothe  furs  worth  1,000  crowns  for  the  cattle  they 
had  killed,  and  he  has  kept  them  for  himself.  Affairs  are  going  badly 
at  Detroit  owing  to  the  selfish  management  of  M.  de  la  Mothe.      His 


hostility  to  the  Jesuit  fathers  is  most  unseemly,  as  he  constantly  mis- 
represents them  and  places  them  in  a  bad  light  before  the  Indians  and 
the  French,  and  what  can  they  accomplish  for  religion  in  such  a  case  ? 
Father  Davenau,  who  has  been  with  the  Indians  for  nineteen  years,  and 
knows  how  to  control  them,  he  ordered  away  from  his  post  among  the 
Miamis,  and  replaced  the  Jesuit  with  a  Recollect  father  who  does  not 
understand  Indians." 

It  is  plain  to  see  that  Governor  Vaudreuil  was  a  supporter  of  the  Jes- 
uits and  the  traders,  and  consequently  the  enemy  of  Cadillac.  His 
censure  of  Cadillac  for  taking  refuge  behind  a  tree  was  decidedly  far 
fetched,  because  that  was  the  custom  in  Indian  fighting,  and  those  who 
fought  them  in  the  open  invariably  paid  dearly  for  their  temerity.  His 
keeping  of  the  furs  for  the  destruction  .of  cattle  he  had  brought  from 
Montreal  was  but  natural.  The  cattle  had  been  purchased  with  his 
money,  and  his  ownership  is  acknowledged  in  other  correspondence. 
There  is  no  question  that  Cadillac  did  the  Jesuits  all  the  harm  he 
could,  and  willfully  misrepresented  them  because  they  opposed  his 
plans  of  settlement.  The  original  cause  of  his  enmity  is  not  known, 
but  it  was  probably  something  more  than  their  opposing  interests,  as 
before  related,  or  his  attachment  to  the  order  of  the  Franciscans. 

In  this  connection  it  may  be  well  to  understand  why  there  was  hos- 
tility between  the  Jesuits  and  the  Franciscans.  The  latter  order  was 
divided  into  many  sects.  The  original  members  of  the  order  of  St. 
Francis  de  Assisi  took  the  vows  of  chastity  and  poverty,  and  their  rules 
were  so  rigorous  that  they  were  modified  in  some  localities  in  order  to 
attract  members  to  the  order.  The  Recollects  were  adherents  of  the 
more  rigorous  discipline,  and  lived  in  France,  England  and  Holland. 
The  Franciscans  of  Spain  and  Italy  did  not  put  awa}*  all  comforts.  They 
were  the  first  order  of  priesthood  to  arrive  in  America,  as  several  ac- 
companied Columbus  on  his  first  voyage,  and  they  soon  had  missions 
planted  in  the  West  Indies  and  South  America.  One  of  them,  Mark 
of  Nice,  crossed  Texas,  New  Mexico,  Arizona,  and  traveled  along  the 
coast  of  California  to  the  Golden  Gate  more  than  sixty  years  before 
Champlain  founded  Quebec,  and  it  was  he  who  gave  the  name  of  his 
patron  saint,  St.  Francisco,  to  the  metropolis  of  the  Pacific  slope.  The 
Franciscans  had  possession  of  all  the  south,  or  the  Spanish  colonies. 
When  Champlain  returned  to  Quebec  in  1614,  after  a  visit  to  France, 
he  brought  four  Recollects,  who  were  the  first  priests  in  Canada.  In 
1621  Duke  Ventador  sent  three  Jesuits  and  two  lay  brothers  to  Tadou- 


sac  near  Quebec.  This  was  the  first  entrance  of  the  Jesuits  into  Can- 
ada, but  they  became  active  explorers  of  the  West  and  claimed  the 
territory  of  New  France  as  their  exclusive  field.  This  the  Recollects 
would  not  concede,  and  hence  the  hostility. 


Early  Official  Reports  on  Detroit  —  Cadillac's  Enemies  Plot  to  Have  the  Post 
Abandoned — They  Willfully  Misrepresent  Affairs  to  the  Government — 1701-1710. 

Cadillac  was  masterful  and  combative,  but  sometimes  he  could  bend 
before  the  storm,  and  the  triumph  of  the  Jesuits  at  Mackinac  in  restrict- 
ing the  sale  of  liquor  at  that  place  taught  him  a  lesson. 

Aigremont's  report  after  visiting  Detroit  in  1703,  says  that  "he 
[Cadillac]  compels  each  one,  French  or  Indian,  to  go  to  the  public 
storehouse  for  brandy  where  they  can  buy  only  one-twenty-fourth  of  a 
quart  at  a  time.  [This  was  at  the  rate  of  twenty-five  livres  per  quart, 
so  that  one  eighth  of  a  pint  or  two  ounces  cost  about  fifteen  cents  per 
drink.]  The  savages  cannot  become  intoxicated  on  this  quantity,  but 
as  they  have  to  await  their  turns,  some  are  obliged  to  return  home 
without  their  beverage,  and  seem  ready  to  kill  themselves  in  their  dis- 
appointment." Their  sad  bereavement  seemed  to  touch  the  heart  of 
the  inspector,  but  it  was  more  hatred  of  Cadillac  than  pity  for  the  dis- 
appointed Indians  that  dictated  his  report. 

A  picture  of  the  Detroit  settlement  is  occasionally  presented  in  the 
annual  reports  of  the  governor  and  intendant  to  Count  Pontchartrain, 
but  these  reports  usually  contain  more  or  less  matter  detrimental  to 
Cadillac,  and  are  colored  so  as  to  discourage  a  continuation  of  the  post. 
Their  chief  interest  is  to  show  how  persistent  and  united  was  the  effort 
to  ruin  Cadillac  and  abandon  Detroit  to  the  Indians.  One  of  these  offi- 
cial reports  was  dated  April  11,  1707,  soon  after  Cadillac  resumed  con- 
trol of  the  post.  It  bears  the  signature  of  Riverin,  and  its  contents  are 
of  such  a  nature  that  it  could  not  have  passed  the  eye  of  Vaudreuil  and 
the  other  officials  at  Quebec.  It  speaks  of  M.  de  la  Forest  as  second 
in  command  to  Cadillac,  but  says  that  the  former  is  growing  old  and 
breaking  down.      La  Forest,  it  says,  "has  been  thirty-two  years  in  the 

wilderness,  and  was  with  La  Salle  and  the  elder  Tonty  on  their  early 
explorations.  The  census  at  Detroit  shows  270  whites,  many  pigs  and 
considerable  poultry;  sheep  are  about  to  be  introduced.  Detroit  has 
opened  up  trade  with  the  Mississippi  valley  and  Frenchmen  go  to  and 
fro  bringing  back  piastres  for  their  goods  [indicating  that  they  are  sell- 
ing supplies  to  the  Spaniards].  Sieur  de  Tonty  is  at  Frontenac.  Sieur 
Jonquaire,  Indian  agent,  is  among  the  Sonnontouans  [Senecas],  and  the 
younger  Reynard  is  agent  at  Mackinaw.  All  these  agents  are  stated  to 
be  a  great  hindrance  at  Detroit.  They  are  taking  the  cream  of  the  public 
and  private  trade  under  false  pretenses.  To  prevent  settlers  from 
going  to  Detroit,  these  agents  say  that  the  post  will  soon  be  abandoned. 
The  best  way  to  undeceive  the  people  would  be  to  raise  the  post  to  a 
permanent  governorship,  but  still  without  any  pay." 

On  November  14,  1708,  Procureur-General  de  la  Touche,  Governor 
Vaudreuil  and  Intendant  Randot  made  a  combined  report  which  may 
be  briefly  summarized  as  follows:  Beaver  skins  were  low  and  goods  to 
be  given  in  exchange  were  very  dear.  At  Orange,  subsequently 
Albany,  New  York,  the  English  were  paying  far  better  prices  for  furs 
and  giving  goods  much  cheaper  in  trade.  Commerce  in  the  French 
colonies  was  paralyzed  by  the  conditions.  The  English  were  giving 
better  bargains  and  plenty  of  brandy,  and  Indians,  even  from  Lake 
Superior,  were  resorting  to  Orange.  French  traders  had  given  com- 
mercial paper  for  goods  and  much  of  it  had  become  worthless.  Mr. 
Aubert  was  about  the  only  trader  whose  bills  of  exchange  were  redeem- 
able, and  plenty  of  wild  cat  money  was  in  circulation.  In  order 
to  avoid  an  open  rupture  with  the  Indians,  permission  had  to  be 
granted  for  them  to  go  to  Orange.  Permission  was  asked  to  renew  the 
bills  of  M.  Champigny,  as  the  originals  were  worn  out  with  handling. 
The  officials  agreed  not  to  issue  beyond  the  funds  of  the  king's  money 
on  hand,  and  advised  an  issue  of  bills  of  thirty  two  livres.  They 
would  in  no  way  pledge  his  majesty,  but  would  secure  payment  from  a 
fund  in  the  hands  of  the  treasurer-general  of  the  navy.  Cadillac's  re- 
port that  there  were  120  houses  at  Detroit  was  denounced  as  a  lie; 
there  were  but  sixty-three  houses,  and  instead  of  1,200  Indian  huts 
there  were  but  150.  There  were  only  sixty-three  whites  in  the  settle- 
ment, of  whom  twenty-nine  were  married  soldiers  who  could  not 
be  claimed  as  residents,  because  they  were  there  on  compulsion  and 
could  not  get  away.  The  other  residents  of  Detroit  were  voyageurs  of 
the  Company   of  the  Colony  whose  true  homes  were  in   Montreal,   and 


who  only  got  to  Detroit  for  a  short  season  each  year.  Cadillac  has  157 
arpents  of  land  for  himself  and  the  rest  of  the  settlers  have  but  forty- 
six.  Cadillac's  account  of  the  live  stock  is  also  denounced  as  a  lie. 
According  to  the  report,  there  are  but  three  cows,  six  bulls,  a  calf  and 
one  horse.  The  commandant  sells  milk  at  twenty  sols  the  pot  (about 
two  quarts),  and  more  cows  would  lower  the  price.  He  lets  his  horse 
at  ten  livres  a  day,  and  would  not  have  another  horse  for  fear  of 
lowering  his  revenue.  The  officials  are  surprised  to  learn  that  Cadillac 
wants  a  jurisdiction  of  high,  low  and  middle  justice  set  up  at  Detroit, 
as  the  post  is  declining  and  he  is  not  sure  of  twenty  settlers.  Then  the 
report  branches  off  to  relate  about  a  foray  of  French  and  Indians  up 
Lake  Champlain  to  an  English  settlement  called  Heureil,  which  place 
was  burned  with  its  fort  and  one  hundred  English  killed.  In  this  ex- 
pedition the  French  came  upon  a  party  of  sixty  English  while  on  their 
return  to  Montreal,  and  the  latter  were  destroyed.  The  French  lost  five 
whites  and  three  Indians  killed  and  eighteen  wounded.  Again  the  re- 
port, which  is  of  interminable  length,  returns  to  the  subject  of  Detroit, 
Officers  at  Detroit  have  sent  out  favorable  reports  in  the  past,  but  now 
they  have  changed  their  minds ;  they  are  in  desperate  straits  to  live. 
Sieur  de  la  Forest  cannot  live  there  on  his  pay.  When  the  Company  of 
the  Colony  had  the  post  it  used  to  provide  food  for  the  junior  officers, 
and  it  gave  Sieur  de  Tonty  1,300  livres  a  year.  Since  M.  de  La  Mothe 
has  the  rights  of  the  company,  he  should  be  compelled  to  do  likewise ; 
he  should  be  compelled  at  least  to  share  his  profits  with  Tonty. 

In  spite  of  the  opposition  of  Vaudreuil,  D'Aigremont  and  others,  to 
the  post  at  Detroit,  Cadillac  had  at  least  one  strong  friend  at  court  be- 
sides the  Count  Pontchartrain.  In  the  archives  of  France  is  found  a 
recommendation  from  M.  Daureuil,  procureur-general  of  the  king,  to 
the  superior  council  at  Quebec,  written  April  15,  1707.  This  recom- 
mendation is  addressed  to  Count  Pontchartrain  and  the  substance  of  it 
is  as  follows:  That  all  boats  sent  from  the  lower  stations  up  to  Mack- 
inaw, even  those  of  the  Jesuit  fathers,  be  obliged  to  go  by  the  lakes  and 
past  Detroit,  where  they  shall  be  inspected,  and  shall  show,passports 
with  a  list  of  their  cargoes.  These  passages  are  to  be  recorded  by  the 
commandant  at  Detroit,  and  reports  shall  be  made  by  him  to  the 
crown.  Prohibited  goods,  such  as  brandy,  going  up,  or  fresh  beaver 
skins  going  down,  during  the  five  years  which  will  be  required  to  com- 
plete the  trading  contract  with  Sieur  Aubert  &  Co. ,  and  any  others 
that  the  court  may  authorize,  are  to  be  seized,  confiscated  for  the  bene- 


fit  of  the  church  at  Detroit,  and  a  fine  of  five  hundred  livres  assessed 
against  the  offenders.  Parties  sending  boats  to  Mackinaw  to  trade 
with  the  Ottawas  or  other  tribes  of  the  great  river  (the  Mississippi) 
without  authority,  shall  be  punished  by  a  fine  of  1,500  livres  for  each 
offense;  the  money  to  go  to  the  hospitals  at  Quebec,  Three  Rivers  and 
Montreal.  This  inspection  is  recommended  because,  since  the  Jesuit 
fathers  have  been  deprived  of  royal  favor,  they  have  either  contributed 
to  or  consented  to  illegal  loading  of  canoes  to  the  injury  of  the  king 
and  his  colonies. 

Sieur  d'Aigremont's  second  report  of  his  findings  at  Detroit  on  No- 
vember 14,  1708,  was  colored  to  give  the  post  at  Detroit  the  worst  pos- 
sible reputation  with  the  government,  and  the  commandant  was  given 
a  worse  character  than  the  post.  In  brief,  the  report  stated  that  Cad- 
illac was  intensely  hated  by  every  person  about  the  post,  both  Indian 
and  white,  with  the  exception  of  three  or  four  Frenchmen,  who  acted 
as  his  confederates  in  schemes  for  personal  gain.  He  was  charged  with 
all  manner  of  extortions  practiced  against  the  settlers  and  with  dis- 
honesty. Blacksmith  Parent,  according  to  report,  was  compelled  to 
pay  a  license  fee  of  six  hundred  livres  for  the  privilege  of  plying  his 
trade.  In  addition  to  this  he  was  compelled  to  donate  two  barrels  of 
beer  to  the  commandant,  and  to  shoe  the  commandant's  horse  free  of 
charge.  According  to  the  report  there  was  but  a  handful. of  whites  in 
the  settlement  at  this  time  and  they  tilled  but  forty- six  arpents  of  land, 
so  there  could  be  but  little  demand  for  blacksmithing,  as  there  was  but 
one  horse  to  shoe  in  the  settlement,  and  about  the  only  tools  in  use 
were  a  few  hoes  and  mattocks.  Parent  evidently  had  some  connection 
with  the  brewery  of  the  post,  or  he  would  not  have  been  required  to 
furnish  the  commandant's  table  with  beer.  He  was  subsequently  per- 
secuted by  Tonty  because  he  was  faithful  to  Cadillac.  Armorer  Pinet, 
according  to  D'Aigremont,  was  obliged  to  pay  three  hundred  livres  a 
year  for  his  license,  and  in  addition  he  was  required  to  repair,  free  of 
charge,  twelve  guns  each  month  for  the  post.  D'Aigremont  estimates 
these  services  worth  ten  livres  per  gun,  or  1,440  livres  a  year,  making 
his  total  license  fee  1,740  livres  The  fort,  he  said,  was  a  miserable 
affair ;  several  times  during  his  stay  he  had  narrowly  escaped  serious 
injury  from  the  falling  of  the  rotten  palisades,  which  were  hardly  able 
to  stand  alone,  and  serious  breaches  existed  where  large  sections  of  them 
had  crumbled  away.  The  soil  about  Detroit,  D'Aigremont  said,  was 
nothing  but  barren   sand  along  the  river  front,  and  farther  back  the 








1"   wi 



m  ^:x 



country  was  nothing-  but  a  succession  of  morasses.  The  set'tlers  by 
great  diligence  were  able  to  raise  a  little  wheat  during  favorable  sea- 
sons; also  some  Indian  corn;  but  the  soil  would  soon  be  exhausted. 
Numberless  millions  of  starlings  came  in  from  the  swamps  to  the  grain 
fields,  and  it  was  only  by  the  utmost  diligence  that  the  settlers  could 
keep  them  away.  Locusts  and  caterpillars  usually  destroyed  the  crops 
before  they  could  come  to  maturity,  and  it  would  be  cruel  of  the  gov- 
ernment to  keep  settlers  in  such  a  place.  The  only  products  of  the 
place  worth  consideration  were  the  beaver  skins,  and  they  were  so  in- 
ferior to  the  skins  of  the  north  as  to  be  almost  worthless.  The  post 
ought,  however,  to  be  a  source  of  much  peltry,  but  the  small  shipments 
from  Detroit  led  D'Aigremont  to  believe  that  Cadillac  was  trading 
secretly  with  the  English. 

A  more  prejudiced  report  could  hardly  have  been  concocted  and 
there  was  just  enough  truth  in  each  item  of  complaint  to  give  the  re- 
port plausibility.  Not  a  single  product  of  Detroit  was  spared.  D'Aigre- 
mont reported  that  there  were  plenty  of  grapes,  apples  and  plums  at 
the  post,  but  that  they  tasted  detestably.  He  tasted  some  cider  made 
there,  and  it  was  as  bitter  as  gall.  The  fruits  named  must  have  been 
wild  scuppernong  grapes,  wild  crab  apples  and  wild  plums.  The  report 
closes  with  a  laudation  of  Mackinaw,  which  he  says  lacked  all  the  dis- 
advantages found  at  Detroit.  It  was  healthful,  had  a  productive  soil, 
and  its  geographical  position  made  it  the  most  important  post  in  the 
West.  Great  profit  was  sure  to  follow  an  encouragement  of  this  post, 
but  if  Detroit  was  kept  up  much  longer  the  expense  would  ruin  Canada. 

In  1708  there  were  cultivated  350  acres,  of  which  Cadillac  had  157 
acres,  and  the  French  settlers  forty-six  acres;  sixty-three  of  the 
dwellers  in  the  fort  owned  their  lots,  and  twenty-nine  owned  farms 
outside  of  the  inclosure. 


First  Families  of  Detroit — The  First  Directory  and  Tax  List  as  Compiled  by  C. 
M.  Burton— Inventory  of  the  Property  Owned  by  Cadillac— 1701-1710. 


C.  M.  Burton,  in  speaking  of  the  first  two  houses  erected  in  Detroit, 
says  that  the  modern  idea  of  a  log  house  consisting  of  horizontal  tim- 
ber, mortised  at  the  ends,  was  totally  unknown  to  the  early  settlers. 
"I  think  that  their  houses,  even  those  of  the  better  classes,  consisted 
of  stakes  driven  into  or  buried  in  the  ground  as  closely  as  possible, 
with  the  interstices  filled  with  mortar  or  mud.  These  upright  pickets 
were  cut  off  even  at  the  top  and  a  pitch-roof  of  split  rails  put  on.  Saw- 
ing lumber  by  hand  was  too  difficult  a  job  for  much  lumber  of  that 
kind  to  be  used,  and  that  kind  was  for  interior  work,  doors,  shutters, 
etc.  Glass  was  very  expensive,  and  there  are  no  records  of  any  glass 
windows,  except  that  in  the  church  there  was  a  window  with  a  shutter 
and  sash  panes  between  of  twenty  squares  each."  The  squares  may  re- 
fer to  the  small  diamonds  of  glass  which  were  common  in  church  win- 
dows until  even  a  few  years  ago. 

The  following  is  a  description  of  Cadillac's  buildings  in  Detroit, 
which  was  drawn  up  after  he  left  Detroit  in  1711,  to  become  the  gov- 
ernor of  Louisiana;  it  is  somewhat  abbreviated  from  the  original: 

1 — A  warehouse  37|  by  22  feet  and  eight  feet  high,  boarded  with 
thick  planks  of  oak,  with  shutters  and  doors  and  a  staircase,  a  press  for 
pressing  furs,  a  counter  and  three  shelves  for  books. 

2 — A  house  of  stakes  in  earth,  '631  by  19  feet  and  eight  feet  high, 
with  doors  and  shutters. 

3 — A  small  cellar  adjoining  said  house,  boarded  below  with  split 
stakes,  also  a  porch  and  door. 

4 — A  house  18  by  12|  feet  and  eight  feet  high,  with  a  cabinet,  a 
postern  outside  and  a  cellar. 

5 — A  cattle  shed  16  by  12,  of  stakes  in  earth. 

6 — A  barn  50  by  27  feet  and  eleven  feet  high,  surrounded  by  stakes 
in  earth  joined  together. 


7 — A  house  33  by  21  feet  and  nine  feet  high,  surrounded  by  stakes 
in  earth. 

8 — A  dove  cote  raised  on  four  wooden  posts,  six  feet  high  and  ten 
feet  square. 

9 — An  ice  house,  fifteen  feet  square  and  six  feet  above  the  ground 
and  fifteen  feet  below  the  ground  with  split  beams. 

10 — The  church,  35  by  24^  feet  and  ten  feet  high  with  oak  joists  on  a 
good  ridge,  and  below  of  beams  with  square  joints,  with  doors,  win- 
dows and  shutters,  and  sash  frames  between  of  twenty  squares  each, 
also  a  heavy  bell. 

In  these  structures,  except  the  cattle  shed,  barn,  one  house,  the  dove 
cote  and  ice  house,  mention  is  made  that  the  doors  "  closed  with  a  key," 
which  was  perhaps  a  necessary  precaution. 

New  France,  like  the  mother  country,  in  those  days  was  under  feudal 
tenure.  It  was  ruled  over  by  a  committee  of  three  appointed  by  the 
king  and  known  as  the  sovereign  council,  consisting  of  the  governor- 
general,  the  bishop  and  the  intendant.  The  lands  nominally  belonged 
to  the  king  and  were  held  by  seigneurs  who  paid  rent  in  military  ser- 
vice. The  authority  of  the  seigneurs  in  their  respective  domains  was 
like  that  of  a  noble  in  France.  He  could  try  any  offender  for  any 
crime  short  of  treason  and  murder.  Every  tenant  owed  him  military 
service,  and  each  one  had  his  grain  ground  at  the  seigneur's  mill.  If  a 
seigneur  sold  any  portion  of  his  grant  he  had  to  pay  the  crown  one- 
fifth  of  the  purchase  money.  If  a  tenant  sold  his  land  or  lease  the 
seigneur  was  paid  one-twelfth  of  the  consideration.  The  law  required 
these  landholders  to  divide  their  property  equally  among  their  chil- 
dren, and  as  a  consequence  came  the  long,  ribbon  farms  on  the  St. 
Lawrence,  the  Detroit,  the  St.  Ann  and  other  rivers  where  French 
rule  was  established,  each  owner  having  a  water  front,  for  water  was 
the  principal,  and  sometimes  the  only,  means  of  communication  and 
transportation.  The  houses  were  generally  on  the  bank,  with  the 
roadway  on  the  edge  of  the  water.  The  houses  were  sometimes  so 
close  that  an  alarm  or  important  news  could  be  conveyed  by  each 
habitan  calling  to  his  neighbor,  and  would  thus  be  conveyed  to  the  re- 
motest house  in  a  short  time. 

Taxation  commenced  with  the  founding  of  Detroit,  and,  of  course, 
continues  to  the  present  day.  Cadillac  conveyed  all  the  land,  whether 
in  village  lots  or  farms,  and  the  metes  and  bounds  of  these  parcels 
can   now    be    traced  as  if  made   to-day.     The    farmer   cultivated    his 


ground  in  the  daytime,  and  at  night  retired  to  his  home  in  the  fort; 
and  where  he  had  to  pay  rent  for  the  two  places,  he  was  charged  less 
in  proportion  than  the  village  dweller.  Lots  within  the  fort  were 
granted  to  settlers  at  an  annual  rental  of  two  sols,  or  cents,  per  foot 
front,  and  when  sold  or  exchanged,  an  alienation  fine  of  one-twelfth 
was  imposed.  Lands  outside  this  fort  were  let  at  the  rate  of  one  sol 
quit  rent  and  forty  sols  rent  for  each  arpent  of  frontage.  One-quarter 
of  a  bushel  of  wheat  was  also  paid  for  each  arpent,  and,  as  the  usual 
grant  was  of  four  arpents  frontage,  the  annual  dues  amounted  to  eight 
livres  and  four  sols  and  a  bushel  of  wheat  a  year.  Alienation  fines 
were  charged  in  all  manner  of  exchanges,  even  when  the  lands  were 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  original  colonists  of  Detroit  who  paid 
yearly  taxes  for  rent  from  1707  to  1710,  payable  in  March;  and  also 
taxes,  reduced  to  United  States  currency,  for  other  rights,  generally 
for  practicing  their  vocations  as  trader,  carpenter,  blacksmith,  armorer, 
farmer,  shoemaker,  etc.  In  addition  each  and  every  one  paid  ten 
livres,  or  $2,  for  the  latter  privileges.  They  also  paid  sums  for  rent 
according  to  the  location  and  desirability  of  the  lot.  All  these  sums 
were  payable  in  furs  or  in  such  coined  money  as  might  have  been  cur- 
rent, and  ranged  in  amount  from  twenty  cents  to  $2.40  in  United 
States  money: 

1  Pierre  Chesne... $0,60 

2  Andre  Chouet,  dit  Cameraud .60 

3  Pierre  Taveran,  dit  la  Grandeur .38 

4  Joseph  Despre - .40 

5  Solomon  Joseph  Du  Vestin 40 

6  Pierre  Leger,  dit  Parisian .40 

7  Bonaventure  Compien,  dit  L'Esperance --.     .24 

8  Jacob  De  Marsac,  dit  Des  Rocher 62 

9  M.   D'Argenteuil .50 

10  Jean  Richard. .40 

11  Jean  Labatier,  dit  Champaign 40 

12  Etienne  Bouton .60 

13  Pierre  Hemard .50 

14  Antoine  Dupuis,   dit  Beauregard .60 

15  Jacques  Langlois 1.30 

16  Guillaume  Boult,  dit  Deliard .50 

17  Michel  Masse.. 1.68 

18  Michel  Campo 1.06 

19  Louis  Normand .50 

20  F'rancois  Tesse .40 


21  Pierre  Chantelon.... 56 

23  Francois  Bienvenue,  dit  De  Lisle 60 

33  Pierre  Esteve 50 

34  Blaise  Surgere... .60 

25  Pierre  Porrier .. .50 

36  Antoine  Ferron .40 

27  Pierre  Tocet .50 

38  Francois  Fafard,  dit  De  Lorme .90 

39  Michel  Disier .50 

30  Jacob  De  Marsac .40 

31  A  man  named  Rancontre .50 

32  A  rrtan  named  Des  Lauriers .50 

33  A  man  named  Xaintonge .50 

84  Jacques  Du  Moulin .60 

35  Guillaume  Aquet,  dit  Laporte .50 

36  Louis  Gustineau ...  .50 

37  Joseph  Parent..   ....._ .60 

38  Martm  Sirier .60 

39  Quilenchive .50 

40  M.  Derance .30 

41  Du  Figuer .54 

42  La  Montague,  dit  Pierre  Mouet .90 

43  Pierre  Mallet 1.60 

44  Antoine  Dufresne.. 1.00 

45  Jean  Baptiste  Chornic .32 

46  Jean  Casse,  dit  St.  Aubin .50 

47  Paul  Langlois .50 

48  Jerome  Marliard 40 

49  Andre  Bombardier .50 

50  Pierre  Duroy... -60 

51  Pierre  Roy .78 

52  Francois  Marque 26 

53  Antoine  Magnant 1.00 

54  Francois  Bonne.. 1.00 

55  Touissaint  Dardennes .30 

56  Pierre  Bassinet .20 

57  Francois  Brunet .40 

58  Antoine  Beauregard 3.40 

59  Marie  Le  Page .73 

60  Jacques  Campo .40 

61  Jean  Serond .50 

63  Pierre  Robert 1.30 

63  Larramee .50 

64  Rene  Le  Moine .40 

65  Jacques  Le  Moine .40 

66  Paul  Guillet 1.30 

67  Joseph  Rivard .30 


68  Antoine  Tuffe,  dit  Du  Fresne.. .. .40 

$  40.62 
68  tenants  at  $2  each .136.00 

Total... $176.62 

Money,  of  course,  in  those  days,  had  three  times  the  purchasing 
power  of  ,the  present  time,  but,  all  things  considered,  the  tax  roll  of 
Detroit  in  the  first  decade  of  the  eighteenth  century  could  not  have 
been  called  high  or  extortionate. 

The  settlers  also  took  all  their  grain  to  the  commandant's  mill,  and 
paid  a  toll  of  one- eighth  of  the  grain,  and  baked  in  the  public  ovens, 
of  which  Cadillac  had  the  profits.  By  the  order  of  the  governor-general 
he  was  directed  to  charge  only  one-fourteenth  for  grinding  grain,  but 
he  disregarded  the  mandate,  and  did  not  give  any  reason  for  his  dis- 
obedience. His  income,  therefore,  was  about  500  crowns,  or  $550  per 

Each  settler,  including  Cadillac  himself,  had  to  pay  taxes  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  church  and  its  priest.  The  church  and  all  the  vest- 
ments and  paraphernalia  belonged  to  Cadillac.  Even  the  traders  who 
only  visited  Detroit,  and  did  not  reside  here,  had  to  pay  small  sums  for 
the  benefit  of  the  church.  On  June  7,  1710,  Cadillac,  who  had  formerly 
borne  the  expense  of  maintaining  a  priest,  called  the  residents  of  De- 
troit together  and  submitted  plans  for  maintaining  the  church  and  priest 
by  public  dues.  The  priest  was  to  be  paid  five  hundred  livres  annually, 
of  which  the  commandant  was  to  pay  two  hundred  livres,  while  the  in- 
habitants were  to  supply  him  with  food.  Each  resident,  in  addition, 
was  to  pay  for  the  support  of  the  church  a  tithe  consisting  of  one-tenth 
of  his  annual  income. 

Of  Cadillac's  profits  as  a  fur  dealer,  only  an  estimate  can  be  made, 
which  is  partially  founded  on  his  own  statements  in  1703  as  to  the  prof- 
its of  the  Company  of  the  Colony  in  Detroit.  These,  he  said,  amounted 
to  20,000  livres,  or  $4,000.  He  acted  as  notary,  and  received  as  his  fee 
one  twelfth  of  the  consideration  of  every  piece  of  real  estate  sold.  Up 
to  1709  the  government  defrayed  the  expense  of  the  garrison,  but  in 
that  year  he  was  told  that  he  would  have  to  pay  his  soldiers  himself. 
It  was  only  for  a  year,  however,  and  he  was  relieved  in  1710,  and  ap- 
pointed governor  of  Louisiana.  It  is  fair  to  presume  that  he  cleared 
between  $3,000  and  $5,000  a  year,  and  if  he  had  kept  the  money  rea- , 
lized  he  would  have  been  in  a   good  financial  standing.      But  he  rein- 


vested  nearly  all  his  money  in  buildings,  mills,  public  ovens,  a  vessel 
of  ten  tons,  etc.,  and  when  he  left  Detroit  he  could  not  obtain  any 
compensation  for  them. 

In  1896  C.  M.  Burton,  of  Detroit,  gave  a  list  of  the  adult  white  res- 
idents of  Detroit  from  1701  to  1710,  compiled  from  old  notarial  and 
official  records,  a  work  involving  immense  expense  and  an  enormous 
amount  of  labor.  It  was  printed  as  a  brochure  entitled  "  Detroit  under 
Cadillac,"  and  with  other  new  information,  formed  a  valuable  addition 
to  the  history  of  the  city.      It  is  herewith  given  entire: 

Abatis,  Jean  (or  Labbatu ;  see  Labatier). 

Aguenet  (or  Aguet),  called  Laporte,  Guillaume.  (Possibly  the  name  should  be 

Arnauld,  Bertrand,  merchant,  came  to  Detroit  July  18,  1702. 

Badeillac,  Louis,  called  Laplante,  made  an  agreement  to  come  to  Detroit  May  29, 
1701,  the  first  convoy. 

Bannois,  Jeanne.  She  was  the  first  wife  of  Guillaume  Bouche,  and  died  in  1703. 
The  name  is  given  by  Tanguay  as  Beauvais. 

Bariteau,  Julien,  called  La  Marche,  came  May  30,  1705. 

Baron,  Denys,  voyageur,  came  June  21,  1706. 

Barthe,  Jean  (called  Belleville),  soldier,  came  October  10,  1706. 

Barthe  (called  Belleville),  Marie  Charlotte,  daughter  of  Jean  Barthe,  above.  Born 
October  27,  1709. 

Bassinet,  Joseph,  Sieur  Tourblanche,  came  April  2,  1707. 

Bassinet,  Pierre,  brother  of  above,  came  same  date. 

Baudreau,  Gabriel.  Gabriel  Baudreau  and  his  wife,  Catherine  Fortier,  were  voy- 
ageurs  passing  through  Detroit  on  their  way  to  Mobile,  November  24,  1708. 

Baudreau,  Marie  Louise,  daughter  of  Gabriel  Baudreau,  baptized  November  24, 

Baugret,  Francois,  called  Dufort,  came  September  10,  1710. 
Beauchamp,  Jacques,  came  as  a  bargeman,  May  30,  1705. 

Beauchamp,  Pierre,  brother  of  above,  came  same  time. 

Beaugis  (or  Baugis),  Michael,  voyageur. 

Beauregard,  see  Dupuis. 

Belille  (or  Belisle),  Henry,  first  surgeon  of  the  fort. 

Besnard,  Rene,  came  June  21,  1706.     Soldier  of  Carignan  regiment. 

Bienvenue,  Alexis,  son  of  Francois,  below.  He  married  Josette  Bouron,  January 
17,  1740. 

Bienvenue,  called  Delisle,  Francois,  came  August  2,  1707.  His  first  wife  was 
Genevieve  Laferiere,  and  his  second  wife  was  Marianne  Lemoine.  He  was  buried 
September  29,  1751,  aged  eighty-eight  years.  The  transformation  of  French  names 
is  well  illustrated  by  this  person.  His  descendants  are  nearly  universall}^  known 
here  by  the  name  of  Delisle  or  De  Lisle,  and  the  surname  of  two  centuries  ago  is  not 
uncommonly  used  to  day  as  a  Christian  name,  and  we  frequently  find  Bienvenue  (or 
Welcome),  Delisles  in  our  real  estate  records. 


Bienvenue,  Joseph,  son  of  Francois  Bienvenue,  above.  Baptized  March  5,  1704, 
and  buried  December  3,  1711. 

Bienvenue,  Marie,  daughter  of  Francois  Bienvenue,  above.  Baptized  December  8, 
1705.  She  married  Jacques  Roussel,  April  7,  1725.  She  is  named  Marianne  in  the 
marriage  record. 

Bienvenue,  Marie  Joseph,  daughter  of  Francois  Bienvenue,  born  August  25,  1709. 

Bienvenue,  Rafael.  Buried  April  34,  1706,  aged  two  years.  Unless  this  is  the 
same  person  as  Joseph  Bienvenue,  above,  it  is  scarcely  possible  that  Rafael  was  a 
son  of  Francois  Bienvenue.  This  is  the  first  recorded  death  in  Detroit,  though  there 
is  other  evidence  that  a  child  of  Alphonse  de  Tonty  died  before  the  first  church  was 
burned,  in  1703,  and  that  Madam  Bouche  died  in  1703. 

Bizaillon  (or  Bisaillon),  Michel,  son  of  Benoit  Bisaillon  and  of  Louise  Blaye,  of 
Clairmont,  in  Auvergne.  He  married  Marguerite  Fafard  (dit  De  Lorme),  June  30, 

Bluteau,  Agathe  (in  some  places  this  name  is  spelled  Bulteau),  wife  of  Francois 
Judith  Contant,  dit  Rancontre. 

Bollard,  Jeanne,  wife  of  Pierre  Leger,  dit  Parisien. 

Bombardier  (called  la  Bombarde),  Andre,  a  soldier  and  farmer. 

Bombardier  (called  la  Bombarde),  Bernard  Phillipe,  son  of  Andre  Bombardier, 
above,  born  October  12,  1709. 

Bombardier,  Jean,  son  of  Andre  Bombardier,  above,  born  July  18,  1707. 

Bone,  Marie  Anne.  The  name  probably  should  be  spelled  Beaune.  She  was  the 
widow  of  Francois  Lorry  and  daughter  of  Jean  Bone  and  Mary  Magdelaine  Bouri- 
gier.  She  married  Martin  Cirier  June  12,  1710.  She  came  to  Detroit  April  18, 1707, 
under  an  agreement  to  serve  Cadillac  for  three  years  at  eighty  livres  per  year. 

Bonne,  Francois. 

Bonnet,  Guillaume  (surnamed  Deliard),  armorer.  A  native  of  the  parish  of  Charles- 
burg,  near  Quebec.     He  died  January  13,  1709. 

Bosne,  Francois.     Came  April  13,  1709. 

Bosseron,  Francois.  (Tanguay  spells  the  name  Beauceron.)  Farmer.  He  was 
the  husband  of  Marie  Le  Page  (which  name  see). 

Botquin,  Pierre  (called  St.  Andre).  A  soldier,  came  October  19,  1706.  An  inven- 
tory of  goods  that  he  carried  to  Detroit  in  1710  mcludes  50  pounds  of  powder  at  40  sols 
per  pound,  100  pounds  of  bullets  at  10  sols  per  pound,  and  32  pots  (of  two  quarts  each) 
of  brandy  at  45  sols  per  pot. 

Boucher,  Guillaume.  His  first  wife  was  named  Jeanne  Beauvais,  and  after  her 
death,  in  1703,  he  married  Angelique  Tholme,  widow  of  Pierre  Robert,  August  16, 

Boucher,  Pierre,  Esquire,  sieur  de  Boucherville. 

Bourdon,  Pierre,  voyageur,  came  June  15,  1706.  Married,  in  1711,  Marie  Anne 

Bougery,  Denis,  came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705. 

Bougery,  Jean  Louis.     Brother  of  Denis,  came  September  14,  1710. 

Bourg,  Jean  (called  Lapierre).     Voyageur,  came  June  15,  1706. 

Bourgoin  (called  St.  Paul),  Didier.     Soldier  of  Montigny.     He  signs  Bourguin. 

Boutron  (called  Major),  Estienne.  Farmer.  The  name  Estienne  shows  one  of  the 
common  transformations  of  the   French  words.      This   is  now  commonly  written 

Etienne  (Stephen),  and  the  second  letter  s  has  been  dropped,  as  it  has  in  Destroit, 
Chesne,  despot,  and  many  other  words. 

Boutron  (called  Major),  Marguerite.  Daughter  of  Etienne  Boutron,  above,  born 
September  15,  1709. 

Boutron  (called  Major)  Marie  Angelique,  daughter  of  Etienne  Boutron,  baptized 
July  5,  1707. 

Boyer,  Zacharie.     Voyageur,  came  May  20,  1708. 

Boyer,  Jean.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Brabant,  Michel.     Voyageur,  came  August  2,  1707. 

Breunel,  Anne  (probably  intended  for  Anne  Bruneau,  which  see).  Wife  of  Louis 

Brisset,  Bernard.     Came  May  18,  1708. 

Bruneau,  Anne.     Wife  of  Louis  Normand,  dit  Labrierre. 

Brunet,  Francois,  dit  Bourbonnais.     Came  May  80,  1705. 

Buet,  Rene.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Butard, ■,  wife  of .  She  died  December  10,  1724,  aged  thirty  to  thirty- 
two  years. 

Cabazier,  Charles.     Voyageur,  came  June  13,  1707. 

Cadieu,  Pierre.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Cadillac.     See  De  La  Mothe. 

Caillomeau,  Louis.  Came  September  6,  1710.  This  name  probably  should  be 

Camerand.     See  Chouet. 

Campau,  Jacques  (the  name  is  also  spelled  Campo,  Campos,  Campeau  and  Campot). 
Blacksmith,  came  September  3,  1708.  His  wife  was  Cecile  Catin.  He  was  buried 
May  14,  1751,  aged  seventy-eight  j^ears. 

Campau,  Jean.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Campau.  Jeanne.     Daughter  of  Michel  Campau. 

Campau,  Louis,  son  of  Jacques  Campau.  He  married  Marie  Louise  Robert,  wid- 
ow of  Francois  Pelletier,  and  daughter  of  Pierre  Robert  and  Angelique  Tholme, 
January  7,  1724. 

Campau,  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Michel  Campau,  baptized  March  2,  1708. 

Campau,  Marie  Angelique.     Daughter  of  Jacques  Campau,  born  December  6, 1708. 

Campau,  Michel.  Farmer,  came  August  3,  1707.  His  wife  was  Jeanne  Masse. 
He 'died  before  1740. 

Campau,  Paul  Alexander.  Son  of  Michel  Campau,  born  September  14,  1709.  He 
married  Charlotte  Sioneau,  daughter  of  Mathurin  Sioneau  and  Marie  Charlotte  Du- 
beau,  February  15,  1740. 

Cardinal,  Jacques.  Voyageur,  came  October  13,  1707.  Died  May  17,  1724,  aged 
eighty-four  years.   ■ 

Cardinal,  Jacques.  Son  of  the  preceding,  came  October  13,  1707.  His  wife  was 
Jeanne  Dugue,  and  third  son  Pierre,  was  baptized  August  30,  1729.  They  already 
had  a  daughter  Jeanne,  who  acted  as  god-mother  to  the  infant  Pierre.  Jeanne  mar- 
ried Laurent  Parent. 

Cardinal,  Marie.  Wife  of  Jacques  Hubert,  dit  la  Croix,  with  her  husband  and  one 
child,  she  set  out  from  Montreal  for  Detroit,  May  22,  1709. 

Cardinal  Pierre.    Came  September  6,  1708. 


Caron,  Vital.    Came  April  2,  1707. 

Carriere,  Antoine  (he  signs  the  church  record  Hantoine  Carrier,  in  1710).  His 
parents,  Andre  Carriere  and  Cecile  Jannot,  lived  on  St.  Paul  street,  Montreal.  He 
first  came  to  Detroit,  April  11,  1707,  as  a  voyageur. 

Casse  (called  St.  Aubin),  Jean.  This  is  a  good  illustration  of  the  change  of  French 
names.  The  family  name  of  Casse  has  been  so  completely  lost  through  years  of  use 
of  the  nickname,  that  this  man's  descendants  are  universally  known  as  St.  Aubin, 
and  there  are  many  of  them  in  Detroit  to-day.  I  have  grouped  them  all  under  this 
name.  Jean  Casse's  wife  was  Marie  Louise  Gautier.  He  died  February  27,  1759, 
aged  more  than  one  hundred  years. 

Casse  (called  St.  Aubin),  Jean  Baptiste.  Died  of  small-pox  February  25,  1733,  aged 
twenty-seven  or  twenty-eight  years.  A  great  manj'  people  died  in  the  winter  of 
1733-34,  of  small-pox.  Jean  Baptiste  St.  Aubin  married  Magdeleine  Pruneau,  daugh- 
ter of  Jean  Pruneau  and  Suzanne  Bellariger,  of  Quebec,  July  31,  1731. 

Casse  (called  St.  Aubin),  Jacques,  son  of  Jean  Casse  and  Marie  Louise  Gautier. 
He  married  Catherine  Vien,  daughter  of  Ignace  Vien  and  Angelique  Du  Sable,  De- 
cember 27,  1745. 

Casse  (called  St.  Aubin),  Marie  Anne,  daughter  of  Jean  (or  Jean  Baptiste)  Casse 
and  Marie  Louise  Gautier.  Born  October  5,  1710.  She  married  Charles  Chauvin 
(blacksmith),  October  27,  1726.  There  was  another  daughter,  Agathe  Cass,  who 
married  Nicholas  Campau,  dit  Niagara. 

Casse  (called  St.  Aubin),  Pierre,  son  of  Jean  Casse.     Baptized  May  2,  1709. 

Catin,  Cecile,  wife  of  Jacques  Campau.  She  died  before  1732.  Her  daughter, 
Marianne  Campau,  married  Joseph  Bondy,  July  28,  1732,  and  her  son,  Claude,  mar- 
ried Catherine  Casse  (dit  St.  Aubin),  daughter  of  Jean  Casse,  January  22,  1742. 

Catinet,  Joseph,  of  Pointe  aux  Trembles,  near  Montreal,  was  in  Detroit  July  26, 

Chabot,  Joseph. 

Channet  (called  Camirand),  Andre,  sergeant  of  the  troops  in  this  country.  His 
wife  was  Anne  Pastorel. 

Channet  (called  Camirand),  Andre,  son  of  above.    Born  May  13,  1708. 

Channet  (called  Camirand),  Pierre,  son  of  Andre,  senior.     Born  about  April,  1710. 

Chanteloup,  Pierre,  farmer.  Acted  as  godfather  to  Jean  Bombardier,  July  18, 
1707.     His  wife  came  to  Detroit  April  11,  1707. 

Charbonneau,  Joseph.     Came  April  25,  1707. 

Charbonneau,  Michel.    Came  April  17,  1707.    Brother  of  above. 

Charnic.    See  du  Charnic. 

Charlet,  Francois.     His  wife  was  Marthe  Forstier. 

Charlet,  Pierre,  son  of  above.     Born  May  3,  1709. 

Charon,  Charles. 

Charpentier,  Jean.     Came  April  2,  1707. 

Chauvillon,  Charlotte,  wife  of  Jean  Barthe,  dit  Belleville. 

Chauvin,  Gilles,  voyageur.  Came  June  7,  1706.  He  and  Louis  Normand  were  in 

Chauvin,  Jean  Baptiste,  voyageur.     Came  June  14,  1706. 

Chauvin,  Louis,  voyageur.     Came  June  14,  1706.     Brother  of  above. 

Cheauonvouzon,  Louis  Antoine,  surnamed  Quarante  Sols,  chief  of  the  Huron  na- 

tion.  He  was  a  very  prominent  and  influential  Indian  and  frequent  reference  is 
made  to  him,  both  by  Cadillac  and  by  the  Jesuit  fathers  at  Mackinac.  He  was  bap- 
tized April  37,  1707,  having  as  a  godfather  Cadillac  himself.  He  died  the  same  day, 
aged  forty-eight  years. 

Chesne,  Charles,  son  of  Pierre  Chesne  and  Louise  Batty.  He  married  Catherine 
Sauvage,  daughter  of  Jacques  Sauvage  and  Marie  Catherine  RieuL  January  18,  1722. 

Chesne,  Francois,  voyageur.     Came  September  25,  1707. 

Chesne,  Marie,  daughter  of  Pierre  Chesne  and  Jeanne  Bailli.  She  married  (first) 
Jacques  Montboef,  dit  Godfrey,  and  after  his  death  she  married  Jacques  Boutin, 
September  16,  1733.  There  is  a  record  that  Marie  Chesne  died  February  13,  1738. 
From  Marie  Chesne  have  descended  all  the  Godfreys  of  French  extraction  in  and 
about  Detroit. 

Chesne,  Pierre.  Came  June  13,  1707.  His  wife  was  Jeanne  Bailli,  she  died  in 
1710,  she  is  sometimes  referred  to  as  Louise  Batty.  The  name  has  been  slightly 
changed  in  spelling,  though  not  in  sound,  by  his  descendants.  He  was  the  Detroit 
ancestor  of  the  present  Chene  family. 

Chesne,  Pierre.  Son  of  above  Pierre  Chesne.  He  had  two  wives ;  first  on  May  25, 
1728,  he  married  Marie  Magdelene  Roy,  a  daughter  of  Pierre  Roy;  this  marriage 
took  place  at  Fort  St.  Phillipe,  village  of  the  Miamis.  She  died  of  small-pox  Octo- 
20,  1782,  and  in  1736  he  married  his  second  wife,  Louise  Barrois,  daughter  of  Fran- 
cois Lothenane,  dit  Barrois,  and  Marianne  Sauvage.  Pierre  Chesne  was  an  inter- 
preter and  sometimes  called  La  Butte.     He  was  born  about  1697. 

Chevalier,  Jean.  Came  May  30,  1705.  There  is  a  record  that  Angelique  Chevalier, 
daughter  of  the  late  Jean  Baptiste  ChevaHer  and  the  late  Francoise  Alavoine  of  this 
parish  married  Antoine  Nicolas  Lauzon,  February  27,  1769. 

Chevalier,  Michel.     Came  October  10,  1710. 

Chevalier,  Paul.  Came  July  12,  1702.  His  wife  was  Agathe  Campau.  They 
lived  on  St.  Paul  street,  Montreal.     Paul,  Jean  and  Robert  were  brothers. 

Chevalier,  Pierre. 

Chevaher,  Robert.     Came  June  15,  1706. 

Chornic,  Jean  Baptiste. 

Chouet  (called  Camerand)  Andre. 

Chouet,  Louis,  called  Lagiroflee.  Soldier  in  company  of  Cabana,  captain.  He 
was  a  son  of  Jean  Chouet  and  Marie  Magdeleine  Magdile.  Before  setting  out  for 
Detroit,  May  25,  1701,  he  gave  his  property,  in  event  of  his  death,  to  Mary  Magde- 
leine Delisle. 

Cirier,  Martin.  Son  of  Nicolas  Cirier  and  Catherine  Prevoost  of  the  parish  of  St. 
Denis  d'Argenteuil  of  Paris.  He  was  a  soldier  of  the  company  of  de  la  Champagne 
and  married  Ann  Bone,  June  12,  1710.  I  find  the  name  spelled  Sirier  sometimes, 
but  Martin  could  write  and  he  spelled  it  Cirier. 

Clairambaut,  Francois,  esquire,  sieur  D'Aigremont.  Commissary  of  the  marine  in 
Canada,  sub-delegate  of  the  Intendant  and  deputy  appointed  to  visit  the  most  ad- 
vanced posts.     He  visited  Detroit,  Fort  Pontchartrain,  July  29,  1708. 

Cobtron,  see  Marsac. 

Colin,  Michel,  called  Laliberte.     Came  in  1706. 

Collet,  Pierre,  voyageur.     Came  June  15,  1706. 


Compein  (called  L'Esperance)  Bonaventure.  Soldier  and  farmer.  His  wife  was 
Catherine  Laplante. 

Compein  (called  L'Esperance),  Marie  Catherine,  daughter  of  Bonaventure,  above. 
She  was  baptized  November  14,  1707. 

Compien  (called   L'Esperance)  Pierre.     Son  of  Bonaventure,  above.     Was  born 
January  12,  1710. 
Cornic,  Pierre. 

Corton,  Pierre,  called  St.  Jean.     Came  May  30,  1705,  as  bargeman. 
Cosset,  Francois.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Couk,  Marguerite,  wife  of  Francois  Masse.  Marguerite  Couque  is  referred  to  as 
the  wife  of  the  late  Jean  Fafare,  and  Marguerite  Kouque,  as  the  wife  of  sieur  Masse. 
These  may  be  the  same  party. 

Coup,  Isabelle.     Came  to  Detroit  as  early  as  April  27,  1704. 

Coutant  (called  Rancontre)  Francois  Judile,  a  soldier.  His  wife  was  Marie  Agathe 
Bluteau,  above. 

Coutant,  Jean.  A  soldier  of  the  company  of  Lorimier.  He  was  buried  September 
17,  1732,  aged  sixty-five  years. 

Coutant  (called  Rancontre)  Louis.  Son  of  Francois,  above,  baptized  February  13, 

Couturier,  Joseph,  voyageur.     Came  September  6,  1710. 
Cusson,  Ange.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 
Cusson,  Charles,  voyageur.     Came  April  20,  1709. 
Cusson,  Jean  Baptiste.     Came  April  11,  1707. 
Cusson,  Joseph.     Came  October  7,  1706. 
Cusson,  Nicolas,  voyageur.     Came  October  7,  1706. 

Dandonneau,  Marie  Francoise,  wife  of  the  second  marriage  of  Henry  Behsle,  sur- 
geon.    Died  May  8,  1711,  aged  about  fifty  years. 
Dardennes,  Toussainte.     Came  May  12,  1707. 
D'Argenteuil  (probably  Pierre),  gardener. 

David,  Therese.     Wife  of  Jacob  de  Marsac  de  Cobtron,  dit  Desrochers.     She  was 
buried  September  24,  1727,  aged  sixty-six  years. 
Daze,  Charles.     Came  July  16,  1702. 

De  Broyeux,  Francois.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 
De  Couague,  Charles,  jr.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

De  Gaigne,  Jacques,  jr.,  eighteen  years  old.  Agreed  to  work  for  Jerome  Merilat, 
dit  Sansquai'tier,  for  two  years. 

De  La  Forest,  Francois,  captain  of  the  troops  of  the  marine  in  this  country.  Like 
many  other  French  words  the  letter  s  is  frequently  dropped  in  writing  this  name,  so 
that  we  find  it  De  La  Foret. 

De  La  March,  Dominique.  Recollect  priest,  lecturer  in  theology,  pastor  of  Ste. 

De  La  Marque,  Marianne.  Wife  of  Alphonse  de  Tonty.  She  was  the  widow  of 
Jean  Baptiste  Nolan,  and  had  a  daughter,  Louise  Suzanne  Nolan,  who  married 
Charles  Francois  de  Mezieres,  esquire,  sieur  de  Leperueinche,  December  17,  1725. 
De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Antoine.  The  founder  of  Detroit.  He  was  born  in  1661, 
the  son  of  Jean  de  La  Mothe  and  Jeanne  de  Malenfant.  Married  Marie  Therese 
Guyon,  daughter  of  Denis  Guyon  at  Quebec,  June  27,  1687. 


:;:£.',"  ■'^.'yy       -^ 

De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Antoine.     Ensign  in  the  troops,  son  of  Cadillac. 
De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Antoine  (or  Jean  Antoine),  son  of  Cadillac.     Buried  in  the 
church,  April  9,  1709,  aged  two  years,  two  and  a  half  months.     I  think  this  is  the 
same  as  Jean  Antoine,  who  was  baptized  January  19,  1707. 

De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Francois.     Son  of  Cadillac.     Born  March  29.  1709. 
De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Jacques.     Son  of  Cadillac.     Cadet  in  the  troops  of  the  de- 
tachment of  marines. 

De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,   Mane  Agatha.     Daughter  of  Cadillac.     Born  December 
28,  1707. 

De  La  Mothe  Cadillac,  Rene  Louis.     Son  of  Cadillac.     Born  March  17,  1710. 
De  Launay,  Joseph.     Came  September  27,  1710. 

De  I'Halle,  Constantin,  Recollect  priest,  killed  June  6,    1706.     His  body  was  ex- 
humed, transported  and  reburied  within  the  church  of  Ste.  Anne. 
De  Liard,  see  Bouet. 
De  Lisle,  see  Bienvenue. 
De  Lorme,  see  Fafard. 
Delpeche,  Francois.     Came  May  17,  1710. 
Demers,  Maximilien.     Came  May  30,  1705. 
Deniau  Cherubin.     Recollect  priest,  pastor  of  Ste.  Anne's. 

Deniau,  Rene.     Died  July,  1730,  aged  eighty  years. 

De  Paris,  Denis. 

Depre  (or  Despre),  Joseph. 

De  Ranee,  see  Le  Gautier. 

Derruon,  Pierre,  esquire,  sieur  de  Budemond. 

Dervisseau,  Julien.     Lieutenant  in  the  troops. 

Desautels,  Gilbert,  dit  Lapointe.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Des  Jardins,  Suzanne.     Wife  of  Pierre  La  Fleur. 

Desloriers,  Jean  Baptiste.     Jean   Baj^tiste  du   Fournel,  dit   Desloriers,  aged  fifty 
years,  was  buried  October  31,  1731. 

Desmoulins,  Charlotce,  dit  Philis,  daughter  of  Jacques  Desmoulins  and  Charlotte 
Sanarias,  was  born  November  22,  1709,  and  died  January  8,  1710. 

Desmoulins,  Jacques,  dit  Philis.     His  wife  was  Charlotte  Sanarias. 

Desmoulins,  Jacques.     Son  of  the  above  Jacques  Desmoulins ;  was  baptized  March 
30,  1708,  and  died  April  14,  1728. 

Desmoulins,  Marie.     Wife  of  Blaise  Sontieureuse. 

Desnoyers,  Joseph.     Married  Magdeleine  Robert,  daughter  of  Pierre  Robert  and 
Angelique  Tholme. 

Desrocher,  or  Derocher,  see  Marsac. 

Desrosiers,  Jean  Morean.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Desrosiers,  Joseph,  called  Dutremble.     Came  September  27,  1710. 

Devinon,  Pierre,  esquire,  sieur  de  Budemond.     Lieutenant  in  the  troops. 

Dizier,  Michel,  called  Sans  Quartier.     Farmer. 

Dounay,  Anthoine.     Came  in  the  summer  of  1704. 

Dubor,  Dominique.     Came  as  voyageur,  June  12,  1706. 

Du  Chornic,  Louis. 

Ducharme,  Joseph.     Came  September  10,  1710. 

Ducharme,  Louis.     Voyageur,  brother  of  Joseph.     Came  May  22,  1709. 


Duclos,  Jacques.     A  soldier. 

D-umouchel,  Francoise.  Daughter  of  Bernard  Dumouchel,  dit  Laroche.  On  the 
6th  day  of  Ju]J^  1703,  she  agreed  to  go  to  Detroit  to  serve  M.  and  Madam  de  la 
Mothe  (Cadillac),  for  two  years  at  180  livres  per  year. 

Dumouchel,  Paul.     Came  May  15,  1708. 

Duffant,  Marie  Renie. 

Du  Figuier,  (see  Fournier). 

Dufresne,  Antoine. 

Dufresne,  Marie  Magdelaine.     Wife  of  Pierre  Mallet. 

Dumay,  Jacques.  Jacques  Pierre  Danau,  esquire,  sieur  de  Muy,  Chevalier  of  the 
Royal  and  Military  order  of  St.  Louis,  died  May  20,  1758. 

Dumay,  Marguerite.     Wife  of  Andre  Bombardier. 

Dumouche,  Francoise. 

Dupuis,  Antoine  (called  Beauregard).  Farmer.  His  wife  was  Marie  Anne 

Dupuis,  Antoine.     Son  of  above,  was  born  June  21,  1707. 

Dupuis,  Joseph.     Son  of  of  Antoine,  sr.,  above,  was  born  January  31,  1709. 

Dupuis,  Marie  Anne.     Daughter  of  Antoine  above,  was  born  March  13,  1710. 

Duroy,  Pierre,  dit  Deslauriers.  Soldier  in  the  company  of  De  La  Mothe  Cadillac. 
He  came  April  11,  1707.  He  is  also  mentioned  as  a  soldier  in  the  company  of  Dul- 
hud  (Duluth). 

Du  Vestin,  Salomon  Joseph. 

Durand  (or  Durant)  Jean.     Farmer. 

Dussault,  Marie.     Wife  of  Jacques  Langlois. 

Du  Sault,  Marie,  fille  mineure.     The  parents'  names  are  not  given. 

Dutan,  Jacques.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Dutremble,  Jean  Baptiste.     Came  in  1706. 

Dutremble,  Joseph.     Came  September  28,  1706. 

Du  Vant,  called  La  Franchise,  Pierre.     Soldier  de  la  Compagnie  de  la  Corne. 

Esteve,  Pierre.     Called  La  Jeunesse.     Farmer,  see  Stebre. 

Estienne,  Estienne.     Brother  of  Dominique  Estienne.     Came  April  26,  1707. 

Estienne,  Jacques.  Came  April  18,  1707,  with  a  canoe  load  of  merchandise  for 
Sieur  de  Bourmont,  ensign  in  the  troops. 

Fafard,  Charles,  dit  Delorme.  He  came  April  25,  1707.  His  father  was  Francois  Fa- 
fard,  dit  Delorme.    The  descendants  from  this  pioneer  are  universally  called  Delorme. 

Fafard,  Etienne,  dit  Delorme.     Son  of  Francois  Fafard,  born  September  24,  1708. 

Fafard,  Francois,  dit  Delorme.  Farmer  and  interpreter  for  the  king.  He  died 
January  28,  1734,  aged  about  eighty  years.  His  first  wife  was  Magdeleine  Mar- 
guerite Jobin  and  his  second  wife  was  Barbe  Loisel. 

Fafard,  Joseph.  Son  of  Francois,  above.  He  was  born  September  24,  1708.  He 
and  Etienne  were  twins. 

Fafard,  Magdeleine.  Daughter  of  Francois  Fafard,  above.  She  married  Prudent 
Robert,  January  7,  1711. 

Fafard,  Marie  Joseph,  dit  Delorme,  daughter  of  Francois,  above,  married  Pierre 
Auclair,  of  Charlesburg. 

Fafard,  Marie  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Francois,  above.  Married  Michel  Bissilon 
June  30,  1710. 


Fafard,  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Jean  Fafard  and  Marguerite  Couck.  Married 
Jean  Baptiste  Turpin,  May  5,  1710. 

Fanereau,  Charles,  voyageur.      Lived  in  Detroit  October  6,  1708. 

Farland,  Jean. 

Faverau,  Pierre.      Called  Le  Grandeur. 

Fayolet,  Pierre,  called  St.  Pierre.  A  soldier  of  the  company  of  St.  Ours.  He  was 
in  Detroit  May  2;  1709,  and  acted  as  godfather  to  Pierre  Casse. 

Ferron,  Antoine,  farmer. 

Filiatreau,  Jacques,  voyageur.  Came  May  30,  1705.  He  lived  at  Lachine  and 
never  resided  at  Detroit,  though  he  came  here  several  times. 

Filie,  Michel,  esquire,  sieur  de  Therigo,  sergeant  of  troops.  Commissioned  to 
bear  letters  from  France  to  Cadillac.     He  came  October  16,  1706. 

Fortier,  Catherine,  wife  of  Gabriel  Baudreau.  They  were  married  at  Montreal, 
August  15.  1701. 

Fortier,  Marthe  (or  Marie  Marthe),  wife  of  Francois  Chalut,  dit  Chanteloup.  They 
were  married  in  Montreal  June  10,  1706.     She  was  a  sister  of  Catherine,  above. 

Fournier,  Louis  Rene,  sieur  du  Figuier,  ensign  in  the  troops  of  this  country,  per 
forming  the  functions  of  major  of  the  troops  in  Fort  Pontchartrain.  He  was  born 
at  Montreal  May  14,  1673.      His  mother's  name  was  Helene  Du  Figuier. 

Frapier,  Marie  Magdeleine,  wife  of  Pierre  Stebre,  dit  la  Jeunesse.  They  were 
married  at  Quebec  April  12,  1706,  and  she  died  at  Detroit,  December  22,  1759,  aged 
eighty  years. 

Frigon,  Francois.      He  was  born  in  Normandy  and  came  to  Detroit  May  30,  1705. 

Frotant,  Angelique.     Probably  Proteau,  which  see. 

Gagnier,  Jacques.     Came  May  17,  1710. 

Galarneau,  Louise,  wife  of  Francois  Marquet.  She  was  born  February  2,  1690, 
and  married  April  26,  1706. 

Gallien,  Marie  Anne.  Her  first  husband  was  Jerome  (Hieronymus)  Marillac,  dit 
Sansquartier,  and  her  second  husband  was  Bernard  Phillipe. 

Gareau  (or  Garro  or  Garraud),  Dominique.  Came  October  3,  1708.  He  was  born 
at  Boucherville,  January  13,  1684. 

Gareau,  Jean,  came  September  25,  1707.  He  was  born  at  Boucherville,  November 
3,  1679. 

Gareau,  Pierre.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  He  was  born  at  Boucherville 
May  1,  1673.  He  lived  in  St.  Paul  street,  Montreal.  He  was  sometimes  called  St. 
Onge,  Saintonge,  or  Xaintonge.  The  three  Gareaus  were  brothers.  Dominique 
and  Jean  never  resided  in  Detroit,  but  came  here  together  in  1708  and  at  various 
other  times.  Pierre  owned  a  house  and  lot  in  the  village,  conveyed  to  him  by  the 
name  of  Xaintonge. 

Gatineau,  Louis,  sieur  Duplessis,  came  to  Detroit  June  21,  1706.  He  was  married 
January  22,  1710,  to  Jeanne  Lemoyne,  at  Batiscan.  He  is  described  as  a  merchant 
of  Quebec. 

Gaultier,  Marie  Louise,  wife  of  Jean  Casse,  called  St.  Aubin. 

Gaultier  (or  Gautier),  Pierre,  dit  Saguinoira.  Came  May  22,  1709.  He  was  born 
March  25,  1669,  and  died  July  25,  1754. 

Gazaille,  Jean,  dit  St.  Germain.      Came  September  10,  1710. 

Germain,  Alexis,   son  of  Robert  Germain,  a  native  of  the  parish  of  Pointe  aux 


Trembles,  near  Quebec,  and  came  to  Detroit  May  19,  1708.  He  was  killed  May  19, 
1712,  by  a  gunshot  given  by  the  Ytaganish  Indians,  with  whom  be  was  fighting  at 

Germain,  Robert.  Came  Alay  18,  1708.  He  was  a  brother  of  Alexis.  Born  at 
Quebec,  September  8,  1680. 

Gervais,  Etienne  de  Bourguion.  July  10,  1703,  he  agreed  to  go  to  Detroit  as  a 

Giard,  Anthoine.     Came  May  30,  1705.     He  was  born  at  Montreal  August  31,  1661. 

Giard,  Gabriel.  He  was  born  at  Montreal  April  15,  1675,  and  came  to  Detroit  as 
a  bargeman  May  30,  1705.     He  was  married  three  times. 

Giguiere,  Jean  Baptiste,  being  about  to  set  out  for  Detroit  June  28,  1701,  he  made 
a  present  of  his  property  in  event  of  his  death  to  Louise  Maignan.  He  returned  to 
Montreal  and  married  this  lady  January  22,  1704.     He  died  April  18,  1750. 

Giguiere,  Robert,  brother  of  Jean  Baptiste.  He  was  born  January  28,  1663,  and 
died  at  Montreal  December  10,  1711. 

Giradin,  Joseph.     Came  August  26,  1708. 

Gode  (or  Gaude),  Jacques.  Came  as  voyageur  November  6,  1707.  He  was  mar- 
ried August  15,  1743,  to  Marie  Louise  St.  Martin,  of  Detroit. 

Godefroy  (or  Godfroy),  Jacques,  dit  Mauboeuf.  Paul  Chevalier  and  Jacques  Gode- 
froy,  dit  Mauboeuf,  voyageurs,  and  Joseph  Senecal,  toolmaker  and  voyageur,  formed 
a  partnership  September  10,  1710,  to  carry  on  the  business  of  trading  at  Detroit.  To 
this  business  Chevalier  contributed  255  livres,  Senecal  165  livres  and  Godefroy  43 
livres  and  two  guns.  The  partnership  was  to  continue  for  two  years,  and  if  any  of 
the  partners  died  in  that  time  another  man  would  be  taken  in  to  fill  the  place.  Gains 
and  losses  to  be  shared  equally.  Godfroy  married  Marie  Anne  Chesne  at  Detroit, 
November  20,  1730. 

Gognet,  Francois,  called  Sansoucy,  a  soldier. 

Gonin.  Joseph,  came  May  19,  1708,  bringing  to  Dufiguier,  major  of  Fort  Pontchar- 
train,  two  barrels  of  brandy  (eau  de  vie),  one  barrel  of  salt,  two  barrels  of  powder,  a 
small  parcel  of  goods  and  two  bags  of  bullets,  in  all,  400  pounds. 

Gouin,  Louis.     Came  May  18,  1708. 

Gourion  (or  Gorion),  Antoine,  son  of  Jean  Baptiste  Gourion.     Born  April  26,  1708. 

Gourion,  Jean  Baptiste,  sergeant  in  the  troops  at  Detroit  (1708),  and  farmer.  His 
wife  was  Louise  Chaudillon,  though  it  is  given  as  Louise  Rhodillon  in  Ste.  Anne's 

Gros,  Jean  Baptiste.     Born  at  Montreal  December  22,  1673. 

Guillemot,  Marie  Chretienne.  Came  to  Detroit  in  the  employ  of  Cadillac  August 
30,  1710.  vShe  was  a  daughter  of  Jacques  Francois  Guillemot  and  Madeleine  Dupont. 
Was  born  at  Montreal  September  29,  1695.  Returned  there  and  married  Jean  Jac- 
quiers,  November  24,  1715,  and  died  November  23,  1734. 

Guillet,  Paul,  merchant.  Born  1690,  Died  in  Montreal  June  7,  1753.  His  full 
name  seems  to  have  been  Paul  Alexander  Guillet.  He  acted  as  godfather  to  Paul 
Alexander  Campau  September  14,  1709,  and  the  infant  appears  to  have  been  named 
after  him.     He  came  to  Detroit  May  19,  1708. 

Gustineau,  Louis. 

Guyon,  Jean,  dit  Lachapelle.     Came  September  6,  1710. 


Guyon,  Marie  Therese,  wife  of  Antoine  de  La  Mothe  Cadillac.  Born  at  Quebec 
April  9,  1671.     Married  June  25,  1687.    (The  first  white  woman  in  Detroit). 

Hamelin,  Rene,  voyageur.     Came  May  18,  1710. 

Hemart  (or  Haimart),  Marie  Louise.  Born  December  1,  1709.  Daughter  of  Pierre 

Hemart  (or  Haimart),  Pierre,  farmer  and  soldier  in  the  company  of  M.  Lorimier, 
Married  Marie  Laland  June  12,  1706. 

The  records  of  Ste.  Anne  contain  a  certificate  of  baptism,  October  20,  1707,  of  Fran- 
cois Delainart,  son  of  Pierre  Delainart  and  Marie  Filiastreau.  Father  Tanguay 
concludes  that  Hemart  and  Delainart  are  the  same. 

Henaux,  Pierre,  sr.,  came  to  Detroit  September  27,  1708.  Perhaps  the  name 
should  be  Hunalt. 

Henaux,  Pierre,  jr.    Came  September  27,  1708. 

Hubert,  Ignace,  called  Lacroix.  Came  April  20,  1709.  He  was  a  son  of  Ignace 
Hubert,  of  Boucherville. 

Hubert,  Jacques,  dit  Lacroix,  sr.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Hubert,  Jacques,  dit  Lacroix.  Came  in  1706.  He  was  born  May  12,  1684,  and 
married  September  5,  1705,  to  Marie  Cardinal.  He  was  a  son  of  Jacques  Hubert,  of 

Hubert,  Louis,  voyageur,  came  November  6, 1707.   He  wasabrother  of  Ignace,  above. 

Hubert,  Pierre,  son  of  Jacques  Hubert,  dit  la  Croix,  and  Marie  Cardinal.  Was 
born  at  Detroit  December  11,  1709,  and  died  October  11,  1724.  The  family  is  gen- 
erally known  by  the  name  of  Lacroix. 

Hubert,  Pierre,  voyageur.  Came  August  11,  1710.  He  was  a  brother  of  Jacques 
Hubert,  above,  and  married  Francoise  Cardinal. 

Huet,  Pierre,  called  Duluth,  came  April  2,  1707.  He  was  a  son  of  Joseph  Huet, 
born  November  13,  1682. 

Janot,  Pierre.      Came  May  22,  1709,  nephew  of  Robert  Janot. 

Janot,  Robert  (called  La  Chapelle).  Came  April  2,  1707.  He  was  uncle  to  Joseph 
Bai;inet,  dit  Tourblanche. 

Jardis,  Francois,  called  Rencontre.      Farmer  and  lot  owner  in  the  village. 

Jean,  Raymond,  dit  Godon.  Contracted  October  13,  1703,  to  go  to  Detroit  as  a 

Jobin,  Marie  Magdelene,  wife  of  Francois  Fafard,  dit  Delorme,  interpreter.  She 
died  at  Detroit,  January  39,  1711,  aged  about  forty  years. 

Joly,  Jean,  surnamed  Jolycoeur,  sergeant  in  the  troops.  He  was  a  native  of  the 
parish  of  Bury,  diocese  Xaintes.  Died  at  Detroit,  Mich.,  March  20,  1707,  and  buried 
in  the  cemetery  at  Fort  Pontchartrain. 

Juillet,  Jean,  called  Laplante.     Came  to  Detroit  as  a  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Labatier  (or  Abatis),  Jean.  Owned  a  lot  in  the  village.  Jean  Labattu,  Cochant, 
dit  Champagne,  a  soldier.  Died  in  Detroit,  February  15,  1712.  I  think  this  is  the 
same  person. 

Laberge,  Guillaume,  entered  into  an  agreement  October  12,  1703,  to  come  to  De- 
troit as  a  farmer. 

Labrierre,  see  Normand. 

La  Ferriere,  Genevieve,  wife  of  Francois  Bienvenue,  dit  Delisle.  Born  December 
8,  1679.     She  died  before  1709.     Her  family  name  was  Charon. 


Lafleur,  see  Poirier. 

Laferte,  see  Levoir. 

La  Forest,  Marguerite,  wife  of  Antoine  Levroir.  She  was  born  in  1689  and  mar- 
ried Antoine  Terou  Laferte  (Levroir)  June  10,  1706. 

La  Grandeur,  see  Faverau. 

La  Jeunesse,  see  Stebre. 

La  Jeunesse,  Etienne,  came  in  1706. 

Lalande,  Marie,  wife  of  Pierre  Hemart. 

Laloire,  ,  farmer.  There  is  nothing  from  which  the  first  name  can  be  de- 
termined.    Tanguay  gives  the  name  Allaire  as  the  same  surname  as  this. 

Lamareux,  Francois,  sieur  de  St.  Germam.  Came  April  2,  1707.  Francois  La- 
moureu.x,  dit  Germain,  a  merchant,  was.  born  1675  and  died  December  30,  1740. 

La  ]\Iarque,  Pierre,  called  Sans  Soucy.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  He 
lived  at  Laprairie,  and  his  wife  was  Magdeleine  Delisle. 

La  Montagne.  called  Pierre  Mouet. 

La  Mothe,  Magdalaine,  Cadillac's  daughter. 

La  Mothe,  Marie  Therese,  daughter  of  Cadillac,  baptized  February  2,  1704. 

Lamy,  Joseph.  Set  out  from  Montreal  September  6,  1708,  to  conduct  Madame 
Ranez  to  Detroit.  Lamy  drifted  farther  west  to  Kaskaskia,  where  he  became  one  of 
the  trustees  of  the  church  in  1717,  and  was  killed  by  the  Indians  in  1725. 

Lanarias,  Charlotte,  probably  Sanarias,  which  see. 

Langlois,  Antoine,  son  of  Jacques  Langlois.  Born  November  13,  1709,  buried 
July  26,  1710,  at  Detroit,  aged  about  eight  and  a  half  months. 

Langlois,  Jacques,  farmer  and  blacksmith.  Born  in  1676;  he  married  Marie  Dus- 
sault.  He  resided  for  a  time  in  Detroit,  but  returned  to  Montreal,  and  died  there 
January  30,  1733. 

Langlois,  Paul,  farmer.     Came  April  11,  1707. 

Laplante,  Catherine.  Wife  of  Bonaventure  Compien,  dit  L'Esperance.  Her 
name,  according  to  the  record  of  baptisms  in  Sorel,  where  she  was  born,  was  Marie 
Catherine  Badaillac,  dit  Laplante,  and  she  was  married  at  Montreal  June  10,  1716. 

Laporte,  see  Aguenet. 

Laprairie,  Julien.     Came  August  19,  1710. 

Larivee,  Jean.  Came  May  19,  1708.  He  was  born  August  12,  1667,  and  died  Sep- 
tember 9,  1729. 

L'Arramee — Tanguay  mentions  a  man  by  this  name,  his  first  name  being  un- 
known, who  died  in  Montreal  September  23,  1736. 

La  Salle,  Jean.  A  soldier  of  the  company  of  Duluth,  native  of  Peyrourade  in 
Beam,  died  January  24,  1707.  His  body  was  buried  in  the  church  of  the  Fort  Pont- 
chartrain  du  Detroit. 

Laude,  Joseph,  dit  Mata.     Agreed  to  go  to  Detroit  as  farmer,  October  12,  1703. 

La  Vallee,  Jean  Baptiste.  Soldier  of  the  company  of  the  Cassagne,  native  of 
Quintin,  bishopric  of  St.  Brieux,  in  Brittany.  Died  November  19,  1711,  aged  about 
thirty  years. 

Lavois,  Jacques,  dit  St.  Amour.  Came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  He  was  a 
soldier  of  the  company  of  La  Corne,  and  married  Marie  Barbe  Cesar,  at  Montreal, 
November  28,  1711. 

Leboeuf,  Pierre.     Came  as  bargeman.   May  30,  1705.     His  wife  was  Marie  Fran- 


coise  Auzon.  He  never  came  here  to  reside  permanently,  but  some  of  his  children 

Le  Coutant,  dit  Rencontre,  Magdelaine,  daughter  of  Francois  Judit  Le  Coutaut, 
dit  Rencontre,  born  February  5,  1710. 

L'Ecuyer,  Pierre. 

Leduc,  Jean  Baptiste,  son  of  Jean  Leduc,  of  Montreal.  Came  October  11,  1710. 
He  was  born  in  1684,  and  married  Marie  Catherine  Descary. 

Lefebvre,  Louis.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  His  father  was  Jean  Bap- 
tist Lefebvre,  of  Montreal. 

Lefebvre,  Nicholas.  Came  May  22,  1709,  voyageur.  (His  father,  Jean  Baptiste 
Lefebvre,  lived  on  St.  Peter's  River.) 

Legautier,  Francois,  sieur  de  la  Vallee  Ranee  (see  Deranee).  Lieutenant  in  the 
detachment  of  marines  in  Canada.     Came  October  2,  1709;  died  Novernber  12,  1710. 

Leger,  Bourgery.     Came  April  2,  1707. 

Leger,  called  Parisien,  Marie  Jeanne,  daughter  of  Pierre  Leger,  baptized  Decem- 
ber 15.  1707. 

Leger  (dit  Parisien),  Marie  Jeanne,  daughter  of  Pierre  Leger,  dit  Parisien.  Born 
August  9.  1709.  These  two  children  of  the  same  parents  bear  the  same  name.  There 
is  no  record  of  the  death  of  either. 

Leger  (called  Parisien),  Pierre,  farmer.  His  wife  was  Jeanne  Boilard,  to  whom 
he  was  married  at  Quebec,  May  15.  1706. 

Legros,  Jean,  called  Laviolette,  born  December  22,  1673.  He  married  Marie  Buet, 
November  24,  1700.     He  came  to  Detroit  September  6,  1708. 

Legros,  Nicolas.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  He  was  an  elder  brother  of 
Jean  Legros,  and  married  Marie  Charlotte  Turpin. 

Le  Maire,  Charles,  dit  St.  Germain,  voyageur.  Came  October  17,  1707,  with  a 
canoe  of  merchandise  for  the  Recollect  fathers.  He  was  a  captain  of  militia  in  La- 
chine.     Born  1676,  died  1751. 

Le  May,  Michel.  Agreed,  April  25,  1704,  to  come  to  Detroit  as  a  brigadier  (fore- 
man of  a  boat's  crew). 

Le  Mire,  Jean,  de  Marsolet.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  His  mother'sname 
was  Louise  Marsolet. 

Le  Moyne,  Alexis,  sieur  de  Moniere.     Came  before  October  2,  1709. 

Le  Moine,  Jacques,  merchant.     Came  June  21,  1706. 

Le  Moine,  Rene,  merchant. 

Le  Moyne,  Marie,  wife  of  Francois  Bienvenue,  dit  Delisle,  married  in  1708.  He 
had  another  (first)  wife,  Genevieve  Laferiere.  Marie  Le  Moyne,  aged  about  seventy 
years,  was  buried  September  6,  1764. 

Le  Moyne,  Rene  (or  Rene  Alexander).  Came  October  12,  1706.  Born  in  1668,  he 
married  Marie  Renee  Le  Boulauger,  February  2,  1712. 

Le  Page,  Marie.  Born  in  Montreal,  1684,  she  married  June  12,  1706,  at  Montreal, 
Francois  Beauceron.  The  date  of  his  death  is  not  given,  but  it  was  before  1709,  for 
she  is  mentioned  at  that  time  as  a  widow.  She  is  the  only  woman  to  whom  any  land 
was  conveyed  by  Cadillac,  within  the  palisades.  Her  husband  was  living  at  this 
time  (1707),  but  she  was  probably  separated  from  him,  as  he  is  not  mentioned.  She 
must  have  subsequently  married  Joseph  Vaudry,  for  they  are  called  legal  husband 
and  wife  in  1720,  and  had  a  child,  Mary  Magdeleine.     It  is  with  the  name  of  Marie 


Lepage  that  the  first  great  social  scandal  of  Detroit  is  connected.  The  pages  of  Ste. 
Anne's  record  with  glaring  plainness  the  false  step  of  this  unfortunate  woman.  It 
is  now  impossible  to  tell,  the  penance  that  she  performed  in  atonement  for  her  wrong- 
doing. The  church  record,  possibly',  operated  to  deter  others  from  following  in  her 
path.  Whether  the  man  lost  prestige  or  not  is  unknown,  but  we  do  know  that  he 
left  Detroit  about  the  time  this  affair  became  public,  and  returned  to  Montreal, 
where  he  was  appointed  the  trusted  agent  and  attorney  for  Cadillac,  and  retained 
that  position  as  long  as  Cadillac  remained  at  Detroit. 

Le  Page,  Marie  Therese,  daughter  of  Marie  Le  Page,  widow  of  the  late  Bausseron 
and  of  sieur  Grandmenil,  commis  du  Magazin.  Born  July  24,  1709.  This  is  the  first 
record  of  an  illegitimate  child.  It  is  not  profitable  to  trace  the  descent  of  this  un- 

Lescuyer,  Anthoine,  came  May  28,  1708.     He  was  born  in  Montreal  May  28,  1688. 

Lescuyer,  Jean  and  Paul,   brothers.     Came  May  29.   1706.     They,  with  Jacques 

Minuille,  brought  ten  cattle  and  three  horses  from   Fort  Frontenac  to   Detroit,  for 

Cadillac.     They  were  sons  of  Pierre  Lescuyer,  born  in  Montreal  June  16,   1681,   and 

February  15,  1676,  respectively. 

Lescuyer,  Pierre.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  He  was  a  brother  of  the 
three  preceding  persons.     Born  in  Montreal  February  9,  1674. 

Lesieur,  Jean  Baptiste,  dit  Callot.     Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 
L'Esperance,  see  Compien. 

L'Espine,  Marie  Magdelaine,  wife  of  Joseph   Parent.     She  was  the  daughter  of 
Jacques  Marette,  dit  L'Espine. 
L'Esquier,  Pierre,  voyageur. 

Le  Tendre,   Adele  Genevieve,   probably  came  to  Detroit  with  Mme.    La  Mothe, 
Cadillac's  wife,  as  she  was  god-mother  to  his  daughter,  Marie  Therese,  in  1704. 
Leveille,  Laurent,  came  June  15,  1706.     He  was  a  Pani  Indian. 
Levroir,  called  Leferte,  Antoine.     The  name  should  be  Antoine  Theroux.     He 
was  born  in  1677  and  died  February  22,  1759. 

Levroir,  Pierre,  son  of  Antoine  Levroir,  above,  baptized  February  22,  1707.     He 
married  Rose  Poitevin  in  1733. 
L'Isle,  see  Bien venue. 

Livernois,  Francis.  Francois  Benoit,  dit  Livernois,  came  to  Detroit  April  2,  1707. 
He  married  Angelique  Chagnon  in  1710.  The  name  Livernois  is  quite  common  in 
Detroit  now. 

Loisel,  Barbe,  wife  of  Francois  Legautier,  Esq.,  sieur  de  Lavallee  Ranee,  lieuten- 
ant. Set  out  to  go  to  her  husband  at  Detroit,  September  6,  1708.  She  was 
married  three  times.  First  to  Pierre  Roussel,  then  to  Legautier,  and,  in  1713,  to 
Francois  Fafard,  dit  De  Lorme. 

Loranger,  Joseph,  dit  Rivard,  dit  La  Jauge,  see  Rivard. 
Loranger,  Nicholas,  dit  Rivard,  voyageur,  see  Rivard. 
Lubert  Jacques. 

Magdeleyne,  Jean  Baptiste,  dit  Ladouceur,  came  in  1706.  He  was  born  in  Mont- 
real in  1681  and  married  Elizabeth  Millet. 

Magnant,  Antoine,  dit  L'Esperance.  He  lived  within  the  palisades  and  owned  a 
lot  there,  but  he  is  described  in  Ste.  Anne's  records  as  a  citizen  of  Montreal  (1708),  a 
voyageur  at  present  at  Fort  Pontchartrain.  He  was  born  September  24,  1682,  at  La- 


Magnan,  Gaspard,  dit  Champagne,  came  as  bargeman,  May  30,  1705.  He  mar- 
ried Magdeleine  Marsille,  February  9,  1699. 

Maionee,  Marguerite. 

Maisme,  Marie. 

Major,  see  Boutran. 

Malet,  Antoine,  son  of  Pierre  Malet.  Baptized  August  16,  1706.  He  married 
Therese  Mailhot,  August  11,  1730. 

Mallet,  Francois,  son  of  Pierre  Mallet,  born  July  38,  1708. 

Mallet,  Pierre,  farmer,  voyageur,  citizen  of  Detroit.  His  wife  was  Magdeleme 
Dufresne,  widow  of  Francois  Pelletier. 

Mallet,  Rene,  voyageur,  came  November  6,  1707.  Apparently  he  was  the  father 
of  Pierre  Mallet,  and  died  at  Montreal,  October  24,  1716. 

Marces,  Francois,  a  soldier. 

Marcil,  Andre,  came  May  17,  1710. 

Marendeau,  Marianne  (or  Maranda)  wife  of  Antoine  Dupuis,  dit  Beauregard. 
They  were  married  at  Montreal,  June  9,  1706,  and  she  returned  and  died  there  Janu- 
ary 8,  1730. 

Marquet,  Francois.  His  wife  was  Louise  Galerneau,  and  they  were  married  April 
26,  1706,  at  Quebec.  They  left  Detroit  some  time  before  Cadillac  did,  and  their  third 
child,  Pierre,  was  born  in  Montreal  in  1710. 

Marquet,  Joseph,  son  of  Francois  Marquet,  born  May  22,  1707. 

Marquet,  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Francois  Marquet,  born  March  20,  1709. 

De  Marsac  de  Cobtron,  Francois,  son  of  Jacob  de  Marsac.  Baptized  October  22, 
1706.  He  married  Therese  Cecile  Campau  in  1734,  and  one  of  their  daughters,  Marie 
Louise,  became  the  wife  of  Robert  Navarre  in  1762. 

De  Marsac  de  Cobtron,  Jacques,  son  of  Jacob  de  Marsac.  Born  November  7, 
1707;  died  December  24,  1745,  aged  about  forty  years.  The  priest  guessed  at  his 
age,  but  the  record  shows  that  he  was  thirty  eight  years  of  age. 

De  Marsac  de  Cobtron,  Jacob,  sieur  Desrochers,  sergeant  in  a  company  in  the  de- 
tachment of  marines.  '  His  wife  was  Therese  David.  He  was  buried  April  27,  1747, 
aged  eighty  years.  Their  son  Jacques  married  Marie  Anne  Chapoton,  daughter  of 
Jean  Chapoton,  surgeon,  January  25,  1745. 

Marsac,  Jerome. 

Marsille,  Andre. 

-  Martiac,  Jerome,  dit  Sansquartier  (or  Sanscartier),  son  of  Maurice  Martiac  and 
Jeanne  Damiot,  of  the  parish  of  Chaubouline,  bishopric  of  Brines  in  Limozin.  Died 
June  10,  1709.  He  was  a  soldier  of  Detroit.  His  wife  was  Marie  Anne  Gallien.  His 
name  is  sometimes  spelled  Marillac. 

Martiac,  Magdeleine,  daughter  of  Hierosmes  Martiac  (called  Sansquartier).  Bap- 
tized January  22,  1707. 

Martiac  (called  Sans  Ouartier).  Pierre  Jerome,  son  of  Jerome  Martiac,  dit  Sans 
Quartier.     Baptized  March  28,  1709. 

Martin,  Claude,  came  June  15,  1706. 

Masse,  Francois,  farmer.  His  wife  was  Marguerite  Couk,  called  Lafleur.  They 
were  married  in  1702.     She  had  been  the  widow  of  Jean  Fafard. 

Masse,  Jeanne,  became  the  wife  of  Michel  Campau  in  1696.  She  had  a  daughter 
Marie  Anne  Campau,  who  became  the  wife  of  Pierre  Belleperche. 


Masse,  Michel.     He  lived  in  Montreal,  but  visited  Detroit. 

Maurisseau,  Jacques,  voyageur.     Came  June  15,  1706. 
Maurivan,  Jacques,  came  1706. 

Maurivan,  Louis,  came  1706. 

Melain,  Marie,  wife  of  Blaise  Fondurose,  a  soldier.  She  was  born  in  1689,  mar- 
ried June  9,  1706,  lived  in  Detroit  several  years,  but  returned  to  Montreal  and  died 
there  April  26,  1713. 

Merssan,  Jean,  dit  Lapierre.  Came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  He  is  men- 
tioned as  a  marguillier,  or  church  trustee,  probably  of  Quebec,  by  Tanguay.  He 
was  born  in  1685  and  died  April  16,  1718. 

Michel,  Jean,  agreed  to  go  to  Detroit  as  farmer,  October  12,  1703.  He  probably 
lived  at  St.  Francois  du  Lac. 

Mikitchia,  Joseph.  Slave  belonging  to  Michel  Bezaillin ;  Tete  Platte  (flat  head). 
Baptized  March  10,  1710,  sixteen  years  old. 

Milhet  (or  Millet),  Nicolas,  came  March  3,  1709.  January  4,  1712,  he  married 
Louise  Cardinal. 

Minville  (or  Miville),  Jacques.  Came  May  29,  1706.  He,  with  Paul  and  Jean 
Lescuyer,  brought  ten  cattle  and  three  horses  from  Fort  Frontenac  to  Detroit,  for 
Cadillac.     His  wife  was  Catherine  Lescuyer,  of  Montreal. 

Moitie,  Marie,  wife  of  Pierre  Chesne,  according  to  Tanguay,  married,  October  9, 
1700,  at  Montreal.  She  was  the  widow  of  Jean  Magnan,  and  died  December  31, 

Monet,  Pierre,  see  La  Montague. 

Monjeau,  Gabriel,  voyageur.  Came  April  23,  1710.  He  was  born  in  1690  and 
died  April  27,  1718.      He  did  not  stop  long  in  Detroit. 

Monteil,  Rene,  dit  Sansremission.  Came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  He  did  not 
remain  long  in  Detroit.      He  died  at  St.  Ours,  March  4,  1724. 

Montfort, ,  soldier  of  the  company  of  Desgly;  found  dead  in  the  woods  at 

the  foot  of  a  tree,  buried  December  21.  1709.     I  cannot  find  the  first  name  of  this 

Morand  Pierre.  Came  as  a  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  He  died  at  Batiscan,  June 
11,  1729. 

Moreau,  Joseph.     Came  as  a  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.    His  home  was  at  Batiscan. 

Morin,  Moise,  dit  Chesnevert.  Came  as  bargeman,  May  30,  1705.  He  was  a  ser- 
geant in  the  company  of  Beaucour.  Born  in  Poitiers,  Poitou.  He  married  Mag- 
deleine  Monin,  November  26,  1707,  and  made  his  home  at  Quebec. 

Morisseau,  Louis,  came  June  15,  1706. 

Morisseau,  Pierre,  came  as  bargeman,  May  30,  1705. 

Normand,  Angelique,  daughter  of  Louis  Normand,  dit  Labriere.  Born  June  20, 
1707.  She  was  married  three  times;  to  Jean  De  Launay,  to  Jacques  Beda,  and  to 
Jacques  Hermier. 

Normand,  Louis,  dit  Labriere,  tool  maker.  Came  June  7,  1706,  to  work  at  his 
trade.  He  was  born  at  Quebec,  October  13,  1680.  Married  Anne  Bruneau,  May  29, 
1701.  and  died  July  15,  1729. 

Normand  (called  La  Briere),  Marie  Therese,  daughter  of  Louis  Normand,  dit 
La  Briere,  born  at  Detroit,  September  1,  1705. 

Ouabankikow,  Marguerite,  an  Indian  of  the  Miami  tribe,  the  wife  of  Pierre  Roy. 


There  is  no  record  of  her  marriage,  though  the  priest  called  her  a  legal  wife.  She 
died  of  small-pox  October  31,  1732.  She  had  six  children,  baptized  in  the  church  at 

Pachot,  Jean  Marie  Daniel.  He  was  born  July  30,  1694,  and  was  the  son  of  Fran- 
cois Vienay  Pachot  and  Charlotte  Francoise  Juchereau.  After  his  father's  death, 
his  mother  married  Francois  de  la  Forest,  a  heutenant  under  Cadillac,  and  after- 
wards commandant  at  Detroit. 

Paquet,  Jean.  He  was  born  in  1682,  and  February  20,  1708,  married  Marie  Char- 

Parent,  Joseph,  farmer,  master  toolmaker  and  brewer.  His  wife  was  Magdeleine 
Marette,  whom  he  married  at  Beauport,  January  31,  1690.  On  the  9th  of  March, 
1706,  he  agreed  with  Cadillac  to  go  to  Detroit  to  work  at  his  trade  for  three  years. 

Parent,  Marie,  daughter  of  Joseph  Parent  and  Magdeleine  Marette,  dit  Lespine, 
baptized  January  21,  1709. 

Parent,  Marie  Madelaine,  daughter  of  Joseph,  above,  born  at  Beauport,  December 
15,  1692,  and  came  with  her  parents  to  Detroit  between  the  j'ears  1706  and  1709. 

Parent,  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Joseph,  above,  born  at  Montreal,  July  7,  1698. 

Parisien  (see  Leger). 

Pastorelle,  Anne,  wife  of  Andre  Channet,  dit  Camiraud.  He  was  her  second 
husband.     Her  first  husband  was  Jean  Moriceau. 

Patenostre,  Jean,  of  St.  Lambert,  came  September  6,  1710. 

Pepin,  Jean,  came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Perrin,  Mathieu,  dit  Garaho  (or  Garaut),  came  October  2,  1709.  He  was  taken 
prisoner  by  the  Iroquois  while  taking  goods  to  Fort  Frontenac  in  1688.  The  next 
year  Jeanne  Pilet  was  also  taken  prisoner  by  the  Iroquois.  They  met  as  prisoners, 
and  forming  an  attachment  for  each  other,  were  married  by  Fr.  Miller,  Jesuit,  who 
was  also  a  captive  of  the  Iroquois  at  that  time. 

Petit,  Marie,  wife  of  Pierre  Poirier,  dit  Lafleur.  Tanguay  gives  the  name  as  Marie 
Clemence  Maupetit. 

Philippes,  dit  Belhumeur,  Bernard,  sergeant  in  the  troops  of  the  department  of 
marines.  He  married  Anne  Gallien,  widow  of  Jerome  Marillac.  They  had  both 
lived  in  Detroit,  but  were  married  in  Montreal,  March  18,  1712. 

Picard,  Alexis,  came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  Brother  of  Francois,  mentioned 
below.     He  was  born  in  1681,  and  died  at  Montreal,  April  22,  1745. 

Picard,  Francois,  came  as  voyageur,  May  30,  1705.  His  wife  was  Anne  Farreau. 
He  died  at  Detroit,  October  7,  1728. 

Pichet,  Pierre.  He  was  born  in  1674,  married  Marie  Ann  Sylvester  at  Pointe  aux 
Trembles  in  1697  and  died  August  12,  1712,  at  Cape  Sante. 

Pineau,  Thomas,  dit  Bundemour,  sergeant  in  troops  of  the  marine.  He  was  sta- 
tioned in  Detroit  in  1709. 

Pinet,  Yves,  gunsmith,  came  to  Detroit,  March  9,  1706,  to  work  at  his  trade  for 
three  years. 

Plante,  Zacharie. 

Poirier  (called  La  Fleur),  Angelique,  daughter  of  Pierre  Poirier,  dit  Lafleur,  born 
March  10,  1709. 

Poirier,  Pierre  Rene,  dit  Lafleur,  farmer  and  soldier.  He  married  Marie  Clemence 
Maupetit,  June  12,  1707.     Her  name  is  given  in  Ste.  Anne's  records  as  Marie  Petit. 


Pothier,  Toussaint,  dit  La  Verdure,  voyageur,  came  September  22,  1707.  He 
lived  in  Montreal,  was  born  in  1675  and  married  Marguerite  Thunay. 

Primo,  Jean,  dit  La ,  came  as  bargeman,  May  30,    1705.     The  record  from 

which  this  name  is  taken  has  been  partly  destroyed  by  time  and  a  portion  of  the 
name  obliterated. 

Protean,  Angelique,  wife  of  Etienne  Boutron,  dit  Major.  After  the  death  of  Bou- 
tron  she  married  Pierre  Germain  and  died  in  1754. 

Quarante,  Sols,  or  Quarant  Sous,  see  Cheanouvouzon. 

Quesnel,  Jacques  and  Jean,  brothers,  voyageurs,  came  May  18,  1710.  They  were 
sons  of  Oliver  Quesnel.  Jean  was  born  at  Montreal  and  Jacques  at  Lachine.  They 
lived  at  Lachine, 

Ouilenchive.  I  cannot  make  out  this  name.  I  think  it  to  be  an  Indian  name 
though  I  may  be  as  sadly  mistaken  as  I  was  with  the  name  of  Xaintonge. 

Rabillard,  Nicolas,  came  September  27,  1706. 

Reaume,  Charles,  voyageur,  came  September  28,  1710.  The  only  person  I  can 
find  bearing  this  name  was  a  son  of  Rene  Reaume,  born  April  17,  1688,  at  Charles- 

Renaud,  Charles,  esquire,  sieur  Dubuis.son,  lieutenant  of  a  company  and  command- 
ant at  Fort  Pontchartrain  at  Detroit,  in  the  absence  of  M.  de  Laforest.  When  Cad- 
illac left  Detroit,  Laforest  agreed  to  take  his  place  here  at  once,  but  was  taken  sick 
and  Dubui.sson  was  sent  here  temporarily  to  hold  it  until  Laforest's  recovery. 

Renaud,  Louis,  dit  Duval,  came  June  16,  1706.  Antoine  Renaud  married  Francoise 
Duval.  The  records  do  not  contain  the  name  of  Louis  as  one  of  their  children,  but 
because  he  was  called  Duval,  I  conclude  he  was  a  child  of  this  marriage. 

Rencontre,  or  Rancontre,  see  Jardis. 

Reneau,  Larent,  voyageur,  came  May  23,  1710.  He  married  Anne  Guyon  at  St. 
Augustin  in  1695,  and  after  1698  he  lived  at  Montreal. 

Rhodillon,  Louise,  wife  of  Jean  Baptiste  Gouriou.  This  name  should  be  Chau- 
dillon.     She  was  born  January  11,  1682,  at  Sorel,  and  married  Gouriou  June  22,  1701. 

Richard,  Claude,  came  April  2,  1707.  The  only  Claude  Richard  I  find  was  a  son  of 
Guillaume  Richard,  born  January  30,  1684.     I  find  no  record  of  his  marriage  or  death 

Richard,  Jean,  farmer  and  interpreter  for  the  king.  His  wife  was  Marie  Anne 
Ladecouverte  (or  Yon).  Being  dangerously  wounded  July  7,  1708,  he  states  that  he 
left  with  his  sister,  Mme.  Duplessis,  720  livres,  for  which  he  holds  her  note,  now  in 
the  hands  of  his  cousin,  Jacques  Langlois,  and  he  wishes  the  sum  paid  to  Pierre  Roy. 
He  did  not  die,  however,  until  several  years  later. 

Rivard,  Claude,  sieur  de  Lorange.  Agreed  with  the  Company  of  the  Colony  of 
Canada,  represented  by  Francois  Dumontier.  of  Montreal,  and  Etienne  Volland  de 
Radisson,  of  Detroit,  to  go  to  Detroit,  July  10,  1703,  as  an  interpreter. 

Rivard,  Francois,  dit  Montendre,  came  May  19,  1708. 

Rivard,  Robert,  came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705. 

Rivard,  Joseph,  dit  Montendre,  came  May  18,  1708. 

Rivard,  Maihurin,  came  May  18.  1708. 

Rivard,  Nicolas,  born  in  1686.  He  married  Marie  Joseph  Raux  in  1724,  and  died 
in  1729, 

Rivard,  Pierre,  dit  Lanouette,  voyageur,  came  September  6,  1710.  He  was  born 
in  1686  and  married  Marie  Anne  Caillia,  June  9,  1721. 



Rivard,  Robert,  came  May  18,  1708.  Robert,  Joseph,  Mathurin,  Claude  and 
Francois  were  sons  of  Robert  Rivard,  of  Batiscan. 

Robert,  Francois,  came  in  1706.  He  was  born  in  1678,  married  Marie  Lanctot  in 
1712  and  died  in  1756. 

Robert,  Joseph,  born  in  1674,  married  in  1701,  and  died  in  1748.  He  and  Francois 
and  Pierre  were. brothers.      He  came  to  Detroit  May  12,  1707. 

Robert,  Pierre,  dit  Lafontaine.  He  moved  to  Detroit  May  19,  1708,  with  his  wife 
and  children.  He  had  been  there  before,  having  come  June  15,  1706,  in  charge  of  a 
canoe  of  merchandise.  His  wife  was  Angelique  Ptolomee  (or  Tholme).  After  he 
died  his  widow  married  Guillaume  Bouche,  August  16,  1716.  At  the  marriage  of  his 
son  Antoine  in  1743,  this  Pierre  Robert  is  referred  to  as  "  the  late  Antoine  Robert." 
The  son  married  Marie  Louise  Becmond. 

Robert,  Prudent,  came  August  12,  1710  He  was  another  brother  of  Pierre  Rob- 
ert, all  being  sons  of  Louis  Robert.  His  wife,  whom  he  married  at  Detroit,  January 
7,  1711,  was  Magdeleine  Fafard,  dit  Delorme. 

Rose,  Nicolas,  soldier.  He  was  born  in  1674  and  died  in  1746.  His  wife  was 
Marie  Anne  Prudhomme. 

Roy,  Edmoud,  dit  Chatellereau.  Agreed  to  come  to  Detroit  July  28,  1704,  as 
brigadier  (foreman  of  a  boat's  crew).  He  was  to  receive  300  livres  for  the  trip. 
While  he  never  resided  in  Detroit,  his  son  Joseph  did,  and  was  married  here  in  1736 
to  Magdeleine  Perthuis. 

Roy,  Louis,  came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  He  was  born  in  1659  and  died  be- 
fore 1713. 

Roy,  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Pierre  Roy.     Baptized  April  27,  1704. 

Roy,  Marie  Louise,  daughter  of  Pierre  Roy.  She  was  baptized  May  19,  1708,  mar- 
ried Alexis  de  Ruisseau,  and  died  in  childbirth,  December  3,  1735,  aged  about 
thirty-one  years. 

Roy,  Marie  Magdeleine,  daughter  of  Pierre  Roy.  born  May  25,  1710.  She  married 
Pierre  Chesne,  dit  La  Butte,  and  died  October  20,  1732,  aged  twenty-two  years. 

Roy,  Pierre.  It  has  been  stated  that  this  was  the  first  man  at  Detroit  and  that  he 
lived  with  the  Indians  in  this  neighborhood  before  Cadillac  came.  His  wife  was 
Marguerite  Oiiabankikoue,  a  Miami  Indian. 

Roy,  Pierre,  son  of  Pierre  Roy.     Baptized  April  21,  1706. 

Roze,  Francois  and  Nicholas,  brothers.  Came  April  13,  1709.  They  were  sons  of 
Noel  Roze  and  born  at  Quebec.     The  name  should  be  Rose. 

Ruiet,  Jean,  came  as  bargeman,  May  30,  1705. 

Ruiet,  Rene,  came  as  bargeman,  May  30,  1705. 

St.  Aubin,  Jean,  corporal  in  the  garrison.  Came  to  Detroit  with  Pierre  Duroy, 
April  11,  1707.     See  Casse. 

St.  Marie,  Francois  Marie,  came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705. 

St.  Yves.  Joseph,  came  August  11,  1710  (engage).  He  was  born  in  1692  and  conse- 
quently only  eighteen  years  of  age.     The  family  name  was  St.  Ange,  dit  Hogue 

St.  Yves,  Pierre,  voyageur.  Came  April  18,  1710.  Elder  brother  of  the  preceding. 
He  was  born  in  1682. 

Solomon.  I  think  this  name  is  a  mistake,  though  it  occurs  in  one  of  Cadillac's 
conveyances.     I  think  he  intended  Salomon  Joseph  Du  Vestin. 


Sanaria,  Charlotte,  wife  of  Jacques  Desmoulins,  dit  Philis.  She  was  born  in  1679 
and  died  May  5,  1744,  at  Detroit. 

Sansquartier,  see  Martiac. 

Sarrazin.  Joseph,  came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  Son  of  Nicholas  Sarrazin,  born 
Februarj'  24,  1681. 

Sarrazin,  Nicholas,  brother  of  above,  born  January  12,  1686. 

Sarrazin,  Pierre,  came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705.  Another  brother  of  above,  born 
February  26,  1684. 

Senecal,  Adrien,  came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705. 

Senecal,  Joseph,  came  September  10,  1710.  He  was  born  in  1674  and  died  Febru- 
ary 28,  1736.     His  wife  was  Louise  Bareau,  or  Barros. 

Serond  (called  L'Eveille),  Jean. 

Simon,  Gilbert,  or  Simon  Sanspeur,  dit  Gilbert,  sergeant  in  the  troops.  His  wife 
was  Marguerite  Le  Page.     She  died  July  20,  1730,  at  Detroit. 

Simon  (probably  Pierre),  came  May  18,  1708.  The  first  name  of  this  party  has 
been  destroyed  in  the  notarial  record,  but  his  residence  is  given  as  Pointeaux  Trem- 
bles, and  the  only  Simon  living  at  that  place  at  this  time  was  Pierre. 

Sirier,  Martin,  see  Cirier. 

Slave  (Panis),  Jacques.     A  little  slave  of  Pierre  Roy,  aged  seven  or  eight  years. 

Slave      The  first  mention  of  negroes  is  two  of  Louis  Campau's  in  1736. 

Slave  (Panisse),  Marie  Jeanne,  belonging  to  Jean  Richard,  voyageur,  aged  about 
fifteen  years. 

Slave  (Panis,  Indian),  belonging  to  M.  Moynier,  aged  twelve  to  fourteen  years, 
died  November  16.  1710. 

Slave  (Panis,  Indian),  Joseph,  called  Escabia.  Belonging  to  Joseph  Parent,  aged 
twenty-one  or  twenty-two  years.      He  died  January  21,  1710. 

Sontieureuse,  Blaise ;  lately  employed  as  a  soldier  in  the  company  of  De  la  Mothe 
(1707).     Tanguay  savs  his  name  should  have  been  Fondurose. 

Sontieureuse,  Marie,  daughter  of  Blaise  Sontieureuse.     Born  May  14,  1707. 

Stebre,  dit  La  Jeunesse,  Agathe,  daughter  of  Pierre  Stebre,  dit  La  Jeunesse, 
Born  February  14,  1710,  died  February  21,  1710. 

Stebre,  dit  La  Jeunesse,  ,  daughter  of  Joseph  Nicolas  Stebre.  Born  Janu- 
ary 12,  1711.  The  priest  has  omitted  to  give  the  first  name  of  the  infant.  On  Janu- 
ary 19,  1733,  they  buried  Angelique  Esteve,  wile  of  Pierre  Belleperche,  aged  about 
twentj^-one  years.  She  died  of  small-pox.  This  may  be  the  one  born  January  12, 

Stebre,  called  La  Jeunesse,  Pierre,  late  a  soldier.  Died  July  16,  1736.  His  wife 
was  Marie  Magdeleine  Frappier.  She  died  December  22,  1759,  aged  eighty  years. 
He  was  at  Montreal  August  27,  1767.  He  had  a  daughter  Marguerite,  who  married 
Jean  Chapoton,  surgeon  of  the  fort,  July  16,  1720.  She  died  July  7,  1753,  aged  forty- 
five  years.  The  name  is  sometimes  given  us  as  Esteve,  and  Steve,  but  the  descend- 
ants are  now  usually  called  La  Jeunesse. 

Stebre,  dit  La  Jeunesse,  Pierre,  son  of  Pierre  Stebre.  Born  May  1,  1708.  Married 
(as  Steve)  Marie  Desforges,  widow  of  Francois  Picard,  October  24,  1729.  Died 
March  24,  1731. 

Surgere,  Blaise,  farmer.  I  find  frequent  mention  of  this  name,  but  cannot  identify 
its  possessor,  unless  it  is  the  same  as  Sontieureuse,  above. 


Susart,  called  Delorme,  Francois  (probably  an  error  on  the  part  of  the  priest  in 
writing  the  name  of  Fafard),  dit  Delorme. 

Tabaux,  Jacques.      Came  as  bargeman,  May  30,  1705, 

Tabaux,  Jean,  jr.  Came  May  15,  1708.  He  married  Angelique  Brunet  in  1710 
and  died  at  Montreal  in  1728. 

Tacet,  Pierre. 

Tesee,  Francois. 

Tessier,  Paul.  He  was  a  resident  of  Montreal.  Came  to  Detroit  in  1708,  and  was 
here  again  in  1710,  when  he  witnessed  the  marriage  of  Martin  Cirier  and  Marie 
Anne  Bone. 

Tessier,  Antoine,  farmer. 

Tetreau,  Jean  Baptiste,  Joseph,  and  Laurent,  brothers.     Came  April  21,  1707. 

Tholme,  Angelique,  wife  of  Pierre  Robert.  This  name  is  given  as  Angelique  Da- 
lonne,  and  in  some  places  as  Ptolme,  by  Tanguay.  She  was  buried  in  1744,  aged 
about  sixty-five  years.     She  married  Guillaume  Bouche,  after  the  death  of  Robert. 

Tichenet,  Pierre. 

Tonty,  Alphonse,  captain  of  a  company,  aged  sixty-eight  years.  Buried  Novem- 
ber 10,  1727.  His  first  wife  was  Anne  Picote.  She  and  Cadillac's  wife  were  the 
first  women  in  Detroit.  She  died  in  1714,  and  in  1717  he  married  Marianne  Dela- 
marque,  a  widow  of  Jean  Baptiste  Nolan.  Tonty  was  an  Italian,  and  frequent 
references  are  made  to  the  Italian  schemer. 

Tousignan,  Michel,  dit  Le  Pointe.  Came  September  6,  1710.  He  was  the  son  of 
Pierre  Tousignan,  and  married  Marie  Catherine  Lemay. 

Trottier,  Alexis.  Came  May  18,  1708.  Son  of  Antoine  Trottier  and  brother  of 
Paul,  below.  He  married  Marie  Louise  Roy  at  Detroit,  January  6,  1735,  and  after 
her  death  married  Catherine  Godfroy. 

Trottier,  Gabriel,  dit  St.  Jean.     Came  as  bargeman.  May  30,  1705. 

Trottier,  Joseph,  dit  Desruisseaux.  Came  on  October  17,  1708.  He  was  a  brother 
of  Michel,  and  born  in  1668.     His  wife  was  Francoise  Cuillerier. 

Trottier,  Michel,  sieur  de  Beaubien.  Came  May  18,  1708.  He  was  born  in  1675 
and  married  Agnes  Godfroy  in  1700. 

Trottier,  Paul  (brother  of  Joseph).     Came  October  17,  1708. 

Truteau,  Jean  Baptiste,  married  Magdeleine  Parant  September  1,  1715,  and  died 
in  1754. 

Truteau,  Joseph,  carpenter,  brother  of  Jean  Baptiste.  They  came  together  April 
2,  1707.     Joseph  died  at  Montreal  in  1745. 

Tuffe,  called  du  Fresne,  Antoine.  The  only  person  I  can  find  bearing  this  name 
was  born  in  Montreal  August  21,  1677. 

Tune,  Magdeleine,  wife  of  Pierre  Malet.  This  name  should  be  Du  Fresne.  Sht  - 
was  born  in  1669  and  married  Francois  Pelletier.  After  his  death  she  married  Pierre 
Malet,  or  Maillet. 

Turpin,  Jean  Baptiste,  son  of  Alexander  Turpin  and  Charlotte  Beauvais,  of  Mon- 
treal. Married  Marguerite  Fafard,  daughter  of  the  late  Jean  Fafard  and  Margue- 
rite Conique,  of  this  parish  an'd  new  colony.  May  5,  1710. 

Turpin,  Jean  Baptiste,  voyageur.     Came  October  2,  1709. 

Turpin,  Jean  Baptiste,  son  of  Jean  Baptiste  T.urpin.      Born  December  14,  1710. 

Vaudry,  Etienne,  voyageur.  Came  August  3,  1707.  Born  at  Three  Rivers,  Oc- 
tober 27,  1685. 


Vaudry,  Jacques.  Came  as  bargeman  May  30,  1705.  Born  in  1670,  and  died  in 

Vaudry,  Joseph.  Came  August  19,  1710.  He  was  born  in  1687,  and  married  Mar- 
guerite Lepage,  widow  of  Simon  Gilbert.  Etienne,  Jacques,  and  Joseph  were  broth- 
ers and  sons  of  Jacques  Vaudry  and  Jeanne  Renault. 

Veron,  Etienne,  de  Grandmenil,  appointed  attorney  in  fact  for  Cadillac,  July  26, 
1709.  His  name  has  been  mentioned  above.  He  was  born  in  1649,  married  Marie 
Moral,  dit  Montendre,  and  died  at  Three  Rivers  May  18,  1721.  He  lived  several 
years  at  Detroit,  and  was  a  man  of  considerable  importance,  having  charge  of  the 
public  storehouse  and  acting  as  amanuensis  for  Cadillac. 

Vien,  Ignace,     Came  as  voyageur,  June  12,  1706.     Died  1751,  aged  eighty  years 

Villain,  Pierre,  soldier  in  company  of  De  La  Mothe. 

Volant,  Jean  Francois,  sieur  de  Fosseneuve.  Agreed  to  go  to  Detroit  to  serve  as 
a  hunter,  July  10,  1703.  He  was  born  in  1670,  and  married  Marguerite  Godfrey  June 
6,  1701. 

Xaintonge,  .     When  I  first  encountered   this  name  it  stood   alone  without 

any  connecting  names.  I  concluded  it  was  an  Indian  name  and  so  stated.  Further 
investigation  has  led  me  to  conclude  that  I  was  greatly  mistaken,  and  that  the  in- 
dividual was  named  Pierre  Gareau,  dit  St.  Onge,  and  that  the  name  St.  Onge  has 
been  gradually  changed  to  Saintonge  and  from  that  to  Xaintonge. 

Zerbain,  Pierre,  dit  St.  Pierre,  a  soldier. 


How  the  Confusion  Arose  Among  the  Names  of  the  Pioneers — Father  Christian 
Denissen's  Discoveries  Regarding  the  Changing  of  Family  Names. 

In  compiling  these  records  Mr.  Burton  was  somewhat  embarrassed 
by  the  confusion  which  existed  among  the  early  names,  and  said: 

"  I  confess  that  I  do  not  understand  how  the  old  French  names  were  made  up. 
It  seems  that  each  member  of  a  family  .  .  .  took  to  himself  such  a  name  as 
he  saw  fit — possibly  taking  the  name  of  some  tract  of  land — some  seigniory  that 
he  possessed  and  named.  Thus  we  have,  in  many  instances,  a  family  of  brothers 
each  bearing  a  different  name.  The  use  of  the  given  name  was  little  known.  .  .  . 
Even  as  late  as  1700  the  use  of  the  surname  was  not  fully  understood,  and  it  is  no 
unfrequent  circumstance  to  find  the  name  of  a  descendant  entirely  unlike  that  of  his 

The  same  difficulty  has  been  experienced  by  all  students  of  French 
colonial  history  and  genealogy,  and  Mr.  Burton's  frank  statement  for- 
tunately elicited  the  following  explanation  from  Rev.  Christian  Denis- 
sen,  Pastor  of  St.  Charles's  church,  Detroit: 


"The  early  colonists  of  Lower  Canada  obtained  from  the  French  government 
grants  of  extensive  tracts  of  land.  These  grants  were  executed  in  the  medieval 
phraseology  used  under  the  feudal  system  of  holding  real  estate.  The  settlers, 
assuming  a  resemblance  between  their  holdings  and  the  domains  of  the  French 
barons  and  '  seigneurs,'  called  their  large,  wild  farms  by  certain  titles,  and  affixed 
the  same  to  their  own  family  names,  in  imitation  of  the  European  nobility.  In 
some  cases  these  titles  were  confirmed  by  the  government.  The  owners  of  these 
estates  considered  themselves  seigneurs  of  this  new  country,  and  were  proud  of  the 
affixes  to  their  names.  In  business  transactions  these  additions  to  their  signatures 
were  used  with  all  their  flourishes.  At  baptisms  the  titles  had  to  be  entered  in 
the  parish  registers;  at  marriages  the  affix  to  the  old  family  name  sounded  high, 
both  for  bride  and  groom,  in  the  verbose  marriage  contract;  respectability  was  in- 
creased by  the  presence  of  many  witnesses  with  titled  names. 

"  In  this  manner  the  owners  of  large  estates  in  Lower  Canada,  at  a  certain  period 
of  the  seventeenth  century,  looked  upon  themselves  and  upon  each  other  as  a  quasi- 
nobility.  Their  children  naturally  assumed  these  titles,  and  often  thought  more  of 
the  affixes  than  of  their  own  family  names.  Feudalism  was  about  dead,  and  fast 
dying  in  Europe  in  those  days,  and  therefore  could  not  gain  foothold  in  America. 
In  the  eighteenth  century  we  do  not  find  new  titles  originating;  still  the  old  ones  re- 
mained. The  grandchildren  and  great-grandchildren  of  these  pioneers  often  dis- 
carded the  old  family  names,  and  were  known  only  by  the  new  title.  Hence  the  new 
names  the  genealogists  has  to  contend  with. 

"As  an  illustration,  take  the  Trotier  family.  The  Trotiers  of  America  all  de- 
scended from  Julius  Trotier,  born  in  1590,  in  the  parish  of  St.  Martin,  in  the  town  of 
Ige,  in  the  province  of  Perch,  France.  He,  seemingly  a  common  citizen,  came  with 
the  family  to  Canada  about  the  year  1645.  His  children  married  in  Canada,  and,  in 
the  course  of  time,  had  large  families.  The)'  obtained  extensive  estates,  and  were 
very  lavish  in  originating  titles  for  the  'same.  In  a  few  years  we  find  Trotier  Sieur 
des  Ruisseaux,  Trotier  Seigneur  de  I'lsle  Perrot,  Trotier  Sieur  de  Beaubien,  Tro- 
tier Seigneur  de  la  Riviere  du  Loup,  Trotier  Seigneur  de  ITsle  aux  Herons,  Trotier 
Sieur  des  Aulniers,  Trotier  de  la  Bissoniere,  Trotier  dit  Desrivieres,  Trotier  de 
Bellecour,  Trotier  de  Valcour,  etc.  Many  of  these  Trotiers  gradually  dropped  the 
family  name  and  signed  only  the  assumed  name.  Hence  we  have  the  families  of 
Beaubien,  Desruisseaux,  Bellecour,  Labissonniere,  Desrivieres,  Devalcour,  etc.  All 
these  trace  to  a  common  ancestor,  Julius  Trotier. 

"Another  cause  of  the  change  of  French  names  was  the  custom,  so  prevalent  in 
former  times,  of  nicknam,ing  themselves  and  others.  This  was  done  sometimes  to 
discern  one  family  from  another  of  the  same  name;  as  one  of  the  Baron  families  was 
nicknamed  Lupien — Baron  dit  Lupien — to  distinguish  it  from  other  Baron  families, 
Lupien  being  the  christian  name  of  the  ancestor  of  that  family  in  this  country.  At 
other  occasions  the  nickname  originated  through  family  pride.  When  a  member  of 
a  family  became  distinguished,  that  branch  of  a  family  would  annex  the  christian 
name  of  the  hero,  or,  if  a  woman,  the  family  name  of  the  revered  heroine.  In  this 
manner  some  Cuilleriers  lost  their  own  name  through  the  marriage  of  John  Cuillerier 
with  Mary  Catherine  Trotier  de  Beaubien.  This  lady  was  distinguished  through 
her  family  title  of  Beaubien,  and  after  John  Cuillerier's  death,  by  becoming  the  wife 
of  Francis  Picote  de  Belestre,  the  last  French  commandant  of  Fort  Pontchartrain. 


On  this  account  her  children  from  the  first  marriage  signed  themselves  Cuillerier  dit 
Beaubien,  and  in  later  generations  Cuillerier  was  dropped  and  nothing  left  but 
Beaubien.     These  are  the  Beaubiens  of  our  vicinity. 

"  Another  instance  of  the  same  kind  we  find  in  the  family  of  Leonard.  Leonard 
Simon,  born  at  Montreal,  September  3,  1656,  was  considered  by  his  descendants  to 
have  been  a  great  man,  consequently  the  family  name  became  became  Simon  dit 
Leonard;  in  time  the  old  name,  Simon,  was  dropped  and  Leonard  became  the  fam- 
ily name.     These  Leonards  we  find  in  Monroe  and  vicinity  in  great  abundance. 

"Again  families  glorifying  the  section  of  country  their  forefathers  came  from, 
added  to  their  names  the  province,  city  or  town  of  their  ancestor.  In  this  manner 
the  Sedilot  family,  who  came  from  the  city  of  Montreuil,  in  Picardy,  France,  became 
Sedilot  dit  Montreuil.  So  it  was  with  Casse,  who  emigrated  from  the  town  of  St. 
Aubin ;  they  became  Casse  dit  St.  Aubin,  and  now  are  only  St.  Aubin.  The  same 
we  find  in  Bourgeat,  who  came  from  the  province  of  Provence;  thej'  adopted  Bour- 
geat  dit  Provencal,  and  now  are  Provencal.  We  meet  with  the  same  case  in  the 
family  of  Lootman,  who  are  of  Holland  origin,  and  moved  from  the  Netherlands  to 
the  province  of  Berry,  France;  they  became  in  Canada  Lootman  dit  Barrios;  later 
on  in  Detroit  we  find  them  as  Barrois.  The  same  is  true  of  Toulouse,  Champagne, 
Gascon,  Langoumois,  and  many  others.  There  were  nicknames  that  originated  from 
the  birthplace,  like  Nicolas  Campau  dit  Niagara,  who  was  born  at  the  portage  of 
Niagara,  when  his  parents  were  traveling  from  Detroit  to  Montreal.  It  happened 
also  that  nicknames  were  given  by  Indians,  as  Labadie  dit  Badichon,  Peltier  dit 
Antaya.  Nicknames  have  also  been  given  frivolously,  and  would  stick  in  future 
generations,  as  in  the  family  of  Poissant,  sounding  like  Poisson  (fish);  by  adding 
Lasaline  (salt),  Poissant  dit  Lasaline  (salt  fish).  Another  way  of  nicknaming  was  by 
adopting  a  peculiar  christian  name  by  which  a  certain  person  was  known  in  the 
community.  So  we  find  in  the  family  of  Le  Tourneux  a  Jean  Baptiste  Tourneux, 
who  settled  in  Sandwich,  opposite  the  present  Michigan  Central  depot  of  Detroit, 
about  1786  He  was  known  by  every  one  as  Jeannette,  the  diminutive  of  Jean  ;  by 
incorrect  spelling  he  became  Janet  and  Janette,  hence  Le  Tourneux  dit  Janette. 
His  numerous  descendants  are  called  Janette.  From  him  we  have  Janette  street  in 
Windsor,  Ont.,  and  farther  west,  Janette's  Creek  and  Janette  railroad  station. 

"The  most  curious  way  of  changing  names  we  find  in  the  family  of  Ellair  or 
Elaire.  The  common  ancestor  is  Hilaire  Sureau,  who  came  from  France  and  mar- 
ried at  Quebec,  June  18,  1691.  His  son's  name  was  Peter  Sureau  dit  Blondin,  who 
married  at  Montreal  in  1723;  and  his  children  signed  themselves  Blondin  dit  Hilaire. 
Their  descendants  were  named  Hilaire,  and  in  Detroit  the  name  has  been  corrupted 
into  Ellair. 

"  Other  modes  might  be  mentioned.  It  is  singular  that  scarcely  a  name  has  been 
adopted  from  the  trade,  occupation  or  profession  that  a  person  followed.  These 
nicknames  are  attached  to  the  names  by  the  word  '  dit,'  which  might  be  rendered  in 
our  language  by  'called,'  'named,'  'namely,'  'to  wit,'  'known  as;'  but  'dit'  is  so 
idiomatically  French  that  it  can  hardly  be  translated  into  English.  The  suppression 
of  's'  in  some  names,  as  from  Chesne  to  Chene,  Estienne  to  Etienne  is  accounted 
for  by  the  evolution  of  the  French  language  from  the  old  form  to  the  modern  way 
of  spelling." 


During  the  fifty-nine  years  of  French  rule  in  Detroit  the  Contunie  de 
Paris,  or  custom  of  Paris,  was  the  law  of  the  land.  At  first  the  local 
customs  of  France  were  in  many  cases  peculiar  to  each  province  of 
that  country,  but  after  the  lapse  of  time  they  were  gradually  assimi- 
lated and  were  embodied  in  the  general  law.  The  Coutnme  de  Paris 
was  the  common  law  of  New  France  and  of  all  the  French  colonists  in 
America.  It  was  continued  in  Louisiana,  and  in  the  States  formed  out 
of  it,  after  the  purchase  from  the  French  by  the  United  States,  unless 
expressly  abrogated  by  State  or  United  States  statutes,  ' 

The  coutnme  was  a  printed  book  and  contained  the  legal  forms  for 
conveying  real  estate  or  personal  property  by  deed  or  will,  for  mar- 
riage and  other  contracts,  and  for  other  instruments,  and  these  were 
drawn  up  by  notaries,  who  were  appointed  by  the  governor-general. 
In  each  of  the  settlements  of  New  France  there  was  a  Notaire-Royal, 
who  drew  up  all  legal  papers,  and  was  a  person  of  legal  and  social  con- 


Cadillac  is  Made  Governor  of  Louisiana — His  Apparent  Promotion  is  a  Scheme  of 
His  Enemies — They  Confiscate  His  Property  and  He  Returns  to  France  Ruined  and 
Heartbroken— 1710-1720. 

In  1710  the  king  appointed  Cadillac  governor  of  Louisiana,  which  at 
that  time  comprised  all  the  territory  in  the  present  States  of  Louisiana, 
Mississippi,  Alabama,  Arkansas,  Kansas,  Missouri,  and  parts  of  Illi- 
nois, Kentucky,  Tennessee  and  Iowa.  He  was  directed  not  to  go  to 
Quebec,  but  to  proceed  to  Mobile  overland.  La  Forest,  who  had  been 
with  L'a  Salle,  and  later  one  of  Cadillac's  subordinates,  was  appointed 
his  successor,  but  as  he  was  old  and  in  feeble  health,  he  could  not  come 
for  a  time.  Lieut.  Joseph  Guyon  Dubuisson  was  dispatched  to  Detroit, 
bearing  Cadillac's  commission  as  governor  of  Louisiana,  and  armed 
with  authority  which  made  him  temporary  commandant  until  La  For- 
est was  able  to  come.  Cadillac  remained  in  Detroit  for  nearly  a  year 
afterward,  during  which  time  he  attempted  to  secure  a  settlement  to 
compensate  him  for  his  investment.  He  had  an  estate  at  Detroit 
which  he  valued  at  125,000  livres,  and  which  he  was  anxious  to  realize 


upon,  so  that  the  proceeds  might  be  applied  in  advancing  his  new  inter- 
ests in  Louisiana ;  but  there  was  no  one  in  the  settlement  able  to  buy, 
and  M.  de  La  Forest  had  neither  money  or  credit,  he  said.  There  was 
an  area  of  400  arpents  of  cleared  land,  several  houses  which  the  com- 
mandant had  built  to  rent,  a  brewery,  a  grist  mill,  a  warehouse,  an  ice 
house,  and  all  the  rents  and  seignorial  dues  appertaining  to  his  office. 
He  had  invested  nearly  all  his  capital  and  could  find  no  purchaser.  He 
appealed  to  the  the  government  to  take  the  material  off  his  hands,  but 
in  vain.  He  was  forbidden  to  sell  the  cattle  he  had  brought  from 
Montreal,  together  with  the  increase.  Even  his  horse  Colin  could  not 
be  sold.  The  regulations  prevented  him  from  disposing  of  a  large 
store  of  ammunition  and  arms  which  he  had  purchased.  It  was  kept 
in  the  name  of  the  king  on  the  pretext  that  the  succeeding  command- 
ant could  not  buy  them,  and  yet  the  post  could  not  be  maintained 
without  the  use  and  benefit  of  Cadillac's  private  property.  The  matter 
was  finally  settled  by  a  written  agreement  in  which  La  Forest  was  to 
allow  Cadillac  two  officers  to  have  charge  of  his  property  until  some 
ships  arrived  from  France  at  Quebec,  next  year,  at  which  time  he 
promised  to  make  a  purchase  of  the  property.  In  the  mean  time  Cad- 
illac was  to  enjoy  the  revenue  of  the  post  as  in  the  past,  and  was  to 
allow  La  Forest  two  hundred  crowns  a  year.  While  he  remained  in 
Detroit  he  collected  rents  for  his  buildings,  and  also  the  revenue  from 
the  flouring  mill.  In  the  spring  of  1711  he  quarreled  with  Dubuisson 
over  the  question  of  authority,  and  they  both  appealed  to  Vaudreuil 
with  the  result  that  three  commissioners,  Pierre  Roy,  Pierre  Chesne 
and  Father  Constantine  de  Niau,  were  appointed  to  take  an  inventory 
of  Cadillac's  property.  They  made  an  inventory,  and  Cadillac  left 
Pierre  Roy  in  charge.  Cadillac's  tenants  were  ordered  to  pay  their 
rents  thereafter  to  Dubuisson.  As  soon  as  Cadillac  departed  in  1711, 
Dubuisson  compelled  Pierre  Roy  to  surrender  all  of  Cadillac's  property, 
which  was  done.  A  large  quantity  of  powder,  ball  and  arms,  which 
had  been  purchased  by  Cadillac  and  stored  in  the  arsenal,  was  thus 
seized  by  Dubuisson  in  the  name  of  the  king,  and  he  sent  a  bill  there- 
for to  Intendant  Begon  and  received  payment,  which  showed  that  he 
was  nothing  but  a  thief. 

Father  De  Niau  wrote  Cadillac  about  the  seizure;  Cadillac  appealed 
to  Count  Pontchartrain ;  and  in  revenge  for  Cadillac's  complaint  Du- 
buisson had  the  western  half  of  the  stockade  torn  down.  The  material 
was  used  to  strengthen  the  eastern  half,  and  a  new  row  of  palisades 


was  erected  so  as  to  inclose  but  one-half  of  the  buildings.  The  house 
in  which  Madame  Cadillac  and  her  children  still  lived,  the  houses  of 
Roy,  Parent,  De  Lorme,  Campau,  Mallette  and  Robert,  all  settlers  who 
had  been  Cadillac's  adherents,  the  house  of  the  priest,  the  church  and 
the  home  of  Dr.  Jaubblivois,  surgeon  of  the  post,  were  left  outside  ex- 
posed to  the  tender  mercies  of  the  Indians. 

Soon  afterward  La  Forest  applied  for  all  the  perquisites  of  the  post 
in  a  letter  to  Governor  Vaudreuil.  Cadillac  protested,  but  La  Forest 
said  that  his  own  presence  was  necessary  at  Detroit  because  the  Indians 
were  killing  each  other  and  everything  was  in  an  uproar.  In  the  end, 
the  retiring  commandant  got  nothing  for  his  investments. 

Cadillac  left  Detroit  for  France  and  stayed  there  for  a  time,  but 
probably  proceeded  to  Acadia  before  going  to  Louisiana,  as  the  vessel 
that  brought  him  to  his  new  charge  contained  a  consignment  of 
twenty-five  young  women  from  Cape  Breton  in  Acadia.  He  arrived  at 
Dauphine  (formerly  called  Massacre)  Island  in  Louisiana,  on  May  13, 
1713,  in  a  French  frigate.  Bienville,  who  had  been  governor,  was 
relegated  to  second  place,  and  was  much  disquieted  thereby  and 
showed  his  jealousy  plainly.  Cadillac  soon  found  enemies;  they  sprung 
up  at  every  turn  and  nearly  all  the  French  officials  conspired  against 
him.  As  the  De  Caens,  the  Company  of  the  Colony,  Aubert,  and 
other  traders  of  the  North,  were  granted  special  privileges  by  the 
crown,  so  Antoine  Crozat  was  granted  all  the  profits  of  commerce 
in  Louisiana  for  a  period  of  fifteen  years.  The  country  was  remote 
from  the  fur  trade,  and  the  adventurers  who  sought  fortunes  in  the 
new  world  were  too  impatient  to  wait  for  the  development  of  agricul- 
ture. Crozat  expected  to  find  mines  which  would  enrich  him  with  gold 
or  silver.  His  grant  was  issued  in  1712,  just  a  year  after  Cadillac  be- 
came governor,  and  he  urged  the  new  chief  of  the  colony  to  search 
diligently  for  precious  metals,  promising  him  a  share  of  the  profits. 
He  also  ordered  Cadillac  to  establish  trading  posts  on  the  Wabash  and 
Illinois  Rivers.  Cadillac  felt  that  he  was  being  treated  as  an  agent  of 
Crozat  rather  than  as  the  governor  of  a  great  area  of  territory;  that  as 
he  was  on  the  ground,  and  with  a  general  knowledge  of  the  country, 
he  should  be  left  to  formulate  plans  for  the  development  of  the  coun- 
try, instead  of  being  ordered  about  by  a  man  who  knew  nothing  about 
its  natural  resources.      He  wrote  to  the  ministry  to  express  his  views: 

"  I  have  seen  Crozat's  instructions  to  his  agents.  I  thought  they  were  issued  from 
a  lunatic  asylum  and  there  appeared  to  me  to  be  no  more  sense  in   them  than  in  the 


Apocalypse.  What !  is  it  to  be  expected  that,  for  any  commercial  or  profitable  pur- 
pose, boats  will  ever  be  able  to  run  up  the  Mississippi  into  the  Wabash,  the  Missouri 
or  the  Red  Rivers?  One  might  as  well  try  to  bite  a  slice  off  the  moon.  Not  only 
are  those  rivers  as  rapid  as  the  Rhine,  but  in  their  crooked  course  they  emulate  to 
perfection  a  snake's  undulations.  Hence,  for  instance,  on  every  turn  of  the  Missis- 
sippi it  would  be  necessary  to  wait  for  a  change  of  wind,  if  wind  could  be  had,  be- 
cause this  river  is  lined  up  with  thick  woods  so  that  very  little  wind  passes  along  its 

Cadillac,  however,  obeyed  Crozat's  orders  in  regard  to  prospecting 
for  metal ;  and  sent  out  a  number  of  exploring  parties,  composed  most- 
ly of  Canadians.  No  gold  or  silver  was  discovered  but  lead  mines  were 
found  near  what  is  now  Dubuque.  Gayerre,  in  continuation  of  his  il- 
logical and  absurd  deprecation  of  Cadillac,  says  that  his  daughter  fell 
in  love  with  Bienville,  who,  however,  did  not  seem  conscious  of  his  good 
fortune  and  kept  himself  wrapped  in  respectful  blindness.  Cadillac  did 
not  think  Bienville  was  a  fit  mate  for  his  child,  but  realizing  the  in- 
evitable, invited  his  subordinate  to  an  interview  and  gave  him  a  knowl- 
edge of  the  situation.  Bienville,  however,  declared  he  would  never 
marry  and  the  interview  ended.  The  French  historian  says  that  Cad- 
illac was  transported  with  rage,  and  to  get  even  sent  Bienville  on  an 
expedition  against  the  Natchez  Indians,  who  had  murdered  four  Cana- 
dians in  Illinois.  The  force  allowed  him  was  thirty-four  all  told,  and  he 
had  to  face  800  warriors.  Bienville  remonstrated,  but  Cadillac  insisted, 
and  the  former  departed.  His  mission,  however,  was  successful;  he 
forced  the  Natchez  to  deliver  the  heads  of  the  three  murderers  and  re- 
turned home  in  triumph.  About  this  time  Cadillac  went  to  France, 
probably  to  consult  the  government  in  reference  to  the  affairs  in  the 
colony,  which  were  in  an  unsatisfactory  condition.  In  his  letters  he 
spoke  of  "  subaltern  officers  who  are  swayed  entirely  by  their  own  in- 
terests and  care  little  for  the  prosperity  of  the  colony.  .  .  There  are 
as  many  governors  here  as  there  are  officers.  .  ,  What  can  I  do 
with  a  force  of  forty  soldiers  .  .  badly  fed,  badly  paid,  badly  clothed 
and  without  discipline?"  It  was  a  repetition  of  his  experiences  at  De- 

He  returned  to  Louisiana,  but  in  a  short  time  came  to  an  open  rup- 
ture with  Crozat,  the  great  French  merchant,  who  told  him  bluntly 
that  all  the  evils  he  complained  of  originated  from  his  own  bad  admin- 
istration. Then  came  a  letter  of  dismissal.  At  the  foot  of  the  letter 
the  new  minister  of  marine  had  written  these  words:  "The  Governor 
La  Mothe  Cadillac,  and  the  commissary  Duclos,  whose  disposition  and 


humor  are  incompatible ;  and  whose  intellects  are  not  equal  to  the  func- 
tions with  which  his  majesty  has  entrusted  them,  are  dismissed  from 
office."  Cadillac  was  succeeded  by  D'Epinay,  who  came  to  Louisiana 
in  March,  1717,  with  three  French  frigates,  and  Cadillac  went  back  to 
France  in  one  of  them,  and  left  the  new  world  behind  him  forever. 
Crozat  did  not  prosper  under  the  new  regime  and  threw  up  his  monop- 
oly later  in  the  same  year. 

But  little  is  known  of  Cadillac's  life  after  he  returned  to  France,  but 
it  would  appear  that  his  enemies  were  not  content  to  let  him  alone.  A 
year  afterward  he'spent  the  winter  of  1718  in  theBastile;  the  cause  of 
his  imprisonment  is  not  known.  After  being  released  from  the  Bastile 
he  spent  much  time  in  efforts  to  recover  the  value  of  his  Detroit  prop- 
erty. He  wrote  the  following  letter  in  1722  or  1723,  to  "  His  most 
serene  highness,  the  Count  of  Toulouse,  admiral  of  France:" 

"La  Mothe  Cadillac  has  the  honor  to  represent  to  His  Most  Serene  Highness,  that 
the  answer  of  MM.  de  Vaudreuil  and  Begon  is  founded  only  on  the  report  that  M.  de 
Tonty  made  to  them ;  consequently  it  deserves  no  attention.  The  petitioner  has  the 
honor  to  ask  His  Serene  Highness  for  a  formal  grant  of  all  Detroit  as  a  Seigniory 
[carrying  with  it],  higher,  middle  and  lower  jurisdiction,  with  rights  of  hunting, 
fishing  and  trading,  and  on  the  terms  and  conditions  laid  down  in  the  contracts  he 
has  already  granted,  with  the  right  of  patronage  of  the  churches  of  said  seignior}-. 
M.  de  La  Mothe  very  humbly  begs  his  majesty  to  attach  to  said  seigniory  the  title  of 
marquis  or  count.  The  jietitioner's  warehouses  have  been  pulled  down,  and  also  the 
timber  of  the  church  and  other  houses  with  which  the  fort  has  been  repaired  and  re- 
doubts built;  his  cattle  have  been  kiUed  and  eaten;  the  rents  and  proceeds  of  his  lands 
and  his  mill  have  also  been  taken.  His  majesty  should  accord  a  favor  to  the  petitioner 
by  granting  him  a  pension  of  a  thousand  livres  from  the  funds  of  the  order  of  St. 
Louis,  and  a  pension  of  like  amount  to  his  family  on  the  navy  or  elsewhere  by  pref- 
erment, or  in  default  of  the  two,  an  abbey  or  a  benefice  for  M.  Joseph  La  Mothe, 
son  of  petitioner,  who  was  born  at  Detroit,  aged  twenty-one  years,  and  an  ecclesias- 
tic. The  petitioner  asks  this  as  a  recompense  for  his  losses  and  for  forty  years'  ser- 
vice he  has  given  the  king." 

At  this  time  Cadillac  was  negotiating  with  the  government  for  his 
appointment  to  the  governorship  of  Castel-Sarrasin,  if  it  had  not  al- 
ready been  bestowed  upon  him.  His  appointment  came  in  December, 
1722,  and  cost  him  16,500  livres.  He  was  authorized  to  collect  rents 
and  fees  of  the  inhabitants,  and  of  this  amount  he-  was  to  pay  300 
livres  annually  to  the  royal  treasurer.  In  1721  the  king,  in  order  to 
reward  certain  of  his  subjects,  deprived  certain  cities  of  the  right  to 
elect  their  municipal  executives,  and  made  the  offices  appointive  by  the 
crown.     Three  years  later  the  rights  were  restored  to  the  people,  and 


it  is  possible  that  Cadillac  was  deposed  when  the  election  took  place. 
He  died  on  October  15,  1730,  and  his  remains  were  interred  in  the  old 
Carmelite  church  of  Castel-Sarassin.  His  wife  died  in  1746.  They 
had  thirteen  children,  of  whom  Magdalene  was  born  at  Port  Royal  or 
Mt.  Desert,  and  another  daughter  whose  name  is  not  known.  Those 
born  at  Quebec  were  Antoine,  who  came  to  Detroit  with  his  father; 
James  who  came  to  Detroit  with  his  mother;  Peter,  Dennis  and  Mary 
Ann,  who  died  young.  Those  born  in  Detroit  were  a  child  whose  bap- 
tismal record  was  probably  destroyed  by  the  fire  of  1703;  Mary 
Theresa,  who  afterward  married  De  Gregoire  in  France;  John  Anthony, 
died  young;  Mary  Agatha,  Francis,  Louis,  Joseph  and  another  daugh- 
ter. His  children  tried  to  get  possession  of  his  Detroit  property,  but 
their  efforts  were  fruitless.  In  after  years  his  granddaughter,  wife  of 
Bartholomey  De  Gregoire,  petitioned  the  State  of  Massachusetts  for 
the  lands  of  two  townships  of  extent,  on  the  coast,  with  the  islands  in 
front,  granted  to  Cadillac  by  the  French  crown.  Their  petition  was 
successful,  and  in  1787  they  became  the  owners  of  the  lands,  which 
comprised  184,272  acres.  The  Gregoires  lived  on  the  island  of  Mt. 
Desert  for  several  years,  but  sold  the  property  in  1792;  they  died  on 
that  island  and  were  buried  there.  The  lands  are  now  in  the  State  of 
Maine,  which  was  admitted  to  the  Union  in  1820. 


Pierre  Francois  de  Charlevoix  Visits  Detroit  in  1721 — Detroit  is  Declared  a  Most 
Desirable  and  Important  Post — Founding  of  the  Huron  Mission  at  Sandwich  in  1728. 

The  first  distinguished  visitor  of  the  new  colony  of  Detroit  was  Pierre 
Francois  de  Charlevoix,  a  Jesuit,  and  a  learned  man,  who  came  from 
France  to  Quebec  in  1705,  and  for  four  years  was  a  teacher  in  the  col- 
lege of  the  order  at  that  place.  He  then  returned  to  France,  but  came 
to  Canada  again  in  1720  to  write  a  history  of  that  province.  He  made 
a  tour  of  the  lake  country  and  arrived  at  Detroit  in  1721.  At  Detroit 
he  wrote  letters,  one  of  which  recommended  that  the  infant  colony 
should  be  strengthened  by  emigrants  from  Montreal.  He  attended  a 
council  of  the  principal  nations  who  had  then  villages  near  Detroit, 



where  the  liquor  question  and  the  practice  of  selling  French  brandy  to 
the  Indians  was  discussed.      In  alluding  to  Detroit  he  wrote: 

"It  is  pretended  that  this  is  the  finest  part  of  all  Canada,  and  really  if  we  can 
judge  by  appearances,  nature  seems  to  have  denied  it  nothing  which  can  contribute 
to  make  a  country  delightful;  hills,  meadows,  fields,  lofty  forests,  rivulets,  fountains, 
rivers,  and  all  of  them  so  excellent  of  their  kind  and  so  happily  blended  as  to  equal 
the  most  romantic  wishes.  The  lands,  however,  are  not  equally  proper  for  every 
kind  of  grain,  but  most  are  of  a  wonderful  fertility,  and  I  have  known  some  to  pro- 
duce good  wheat  for  eighteen  years  running  without  any  manure,  and  besides  all  of 
them  are  proper  for  some  particular  use.  The  Islands  seem  placed  on  purpose  for 
the  pleasure  of  the  prospect,  the  river  and  lake  abound  in  fish,  the  air  is  pure  and 
the  climate  temperate  and  extremely  wholesome-" 

The  following  is  his  description  of  the  council  of  the  chiefs  of  the 
three  Indian  villages  near  Detroit: 

"  On  the  7th  of  June,  which  was  the  day  of  my  arrival  at  the  fort  [Detroit],  Mons. 
de  Tonty,  who  commands  here,  assembled  the  chiefs  of  the  three  villages  I  have 
just  mentioned,  in  order  to  communicate  to  them  the  orders  he  had  received  from 
the  Marquis  Vaudreuil  (the  governor-general).  They  heard  him  calmJy  and  without 
interruption.  When  he  had  done  speaking  the  orator  of  the  Hurons  told  him  in  a 
few  words  that  they  were  going  to  consult  about  what  he  had  proposed  to  them, 
and  would  give  their  answer  in  a  short  time.  It  is  the  custom  of  the  Indians  not  to 
give  an  immediate  answer  on  an  affair  of  any  importance.  Two  days  afterward 
they  assembled  at  the  commandant's,  who  was  desirous  I  should  be  present  at  the 
council,  together  with  the  officers  of  the  garrison.  Sasteratsi,  whom  the  French  call 
king  of  the  Hurons,  and  who  is  in  fact  hereditary  chief  of  the  Tinnontatez,  who  are 
the  true  Hurons,  was  also  present  on  this  occasion,  but  as  he  is  still  a  minor,  he 
came  only  for  form's  sake;  his  uncle,  who  governs  in  his  name,  and  who  is  called 
regent,  spoke  in  quality  of  orator  of  the  nation.  Now,  the  honor  of  speaking  in  the 
name  of  the  whole  is  generally  given  to  some  Huron,  when  any  of  them  happen  to 
be  of  the  council.  Imagine  to  yourself,  Madame,  half  a  score  of  savages,  almost 
stark  naked,  with  their  hair  disposed  in  as  many  different  manners  as  there  are  per- 
sons in  the  assembly,  and  all  of  them  equally  ridiculous ;  some  with  laced  hats,  all 
with  pipes  in  their  mouths,  and  with  the  most  unthinking  faces.  It  is  besides  a  rare 
thing  to  hear  one  utter  as  much  as  a  single  word  in  a  quarter  of  an  hour,  or  to  hear 
any  answer  made  evenjn  monosyllable;  not  the  least  mark  of  distinction,  nor  any 
respect  paid  to  any  person  whatsoever.  We  should,  however,  be  apt  to  change  our 
opinions  of  them  on  hearing  the  result  of  their  deliberations." 

The  above  gives  a  fair  picture  of  an  Indian  council  under  French  rule 
in  those  parts.  The  aborigines,  being  the  original  owners  of  the  lands 
and  the  source  of  all  the  trade,  were  necessarily  consulted  on  every 
measure  affecting  the  polity  of  the  settlement,  so  that  they  could  co- 
operate with  the  French  in  carrying  it  into  effect. 



Father  Charlevoix  was  naturally  solicitous  for  the  interests  of  his  or- 
der, as  well  as  deeply  interested  in  the  spiritual  welfare  of  the  Huron 
Indians,  and  accordingly  wrote  to  Quebec  soliciting-  the  father  superior 
to  send  a  missionary  to  the  Hurons  at  this  point.  The  Hurons  were 
the  first  Indian  nation  that  were  converted  to  Christianity.  After  a 
series  of  bloody  wars  with  the  Iroquois  they  had  been  practically  wiped 
out  as  a  confederacy  in  1649.  Some  of  the  tribes  were  forced  to  join 
the  nations  of  the  Iroquois  and  the  rest  were  scattered.  Those  who 
settled  in  Detroit  prospered  under  French  rule,  and  a  report  made  to 
the  French  government  in  1718,  showed  that  their  fort  and  village 
was  near  Fort  Pontchartrain ;  it  was  situated  about  the  mouth  of  the 
Savoyard  River,  which  flowed  into  the  Detroit,  at  the  foot  of  Fourth 
street,  where  the  Michigan  Central  depot  grounds  are  now  situated.  The 
report  stated  that  they  were  very  industrious  and  raised  a  large  amount 
of  corn,  peas,  beans  and  wheat.  "  Their  fields  are  free  from  weeds  and 
their  bark  cabins  are  strong  and  comfortable,  divided  into  rooms  and 
very  clean.  Their  fort  is  strongly  inclosed  with  pickets  and  redoubled 
bastions  and  strong  gates.  The  magazine  in  their  fort  contains  at  all 
times  a  large  supply  of  grain;  their  tribal  organization  is  similar  to  that 
of  the  Iroquois ;  they  are  expert  hunters  and  steadfast  friends  of  the 
French.  They  are  talented  and  most  industrious  of  all  the  Indian  na- 
tions in  this  vicinity ;  they  were  well  clad  and  some  wore  overcoats  in 
winter.  The  men  hunt  summer  and  winter  and  the  women  are  always 
at  work." 

The  same  report  describes  the  Ottawas  on  the  opposite  side  of  the 
strait,  their  fortification  being  in  the  limits  of  the  present  town  of  Walker- 
ville,  Ont. ,  opposite  the  eastern  part  of  Detroit.  ' '  Their  fort  is  a  strong 
one;  their  cabins  similar  to  those  of  the  Hurons;  their  people  indus- 
trious and  well  clad,  and  the  finest  formed  and  most  athletic  appearing 
of  the  Indians  in  the  vicinity." 

In  1728,  seven  years  after  Father  Charlevoix's  recommendation,  the 
father  superior  of  the  Jesuits  at  Quebec  sent  Father  Armand  de  la 
Richardie  to  Detroit.  Since  the  founding  of  the  settlement,  the  Recol- 
lects, of  the  Franciscan  order,  had  the  spiritual  care  of  the  garrison  and 
the  colonists  on  both  sides  of  the  Detroit  River,  and  to  avoid  a  conflict 
of  jurisdiction,  Father  Richardie  obtained  authority  to  found  a  mission 
on   the  opposite  side  of  the  stream,   just  above  the  present   town  of 


Sandwich,  Ont.  The  shores  on  both  sides  of  the  river  at  that  time 
were  generally  bordered  by  bluffs  from  fifteen  to  twenty  feet  in  height, 
but  at  this  point  they  formed  a  beautiful  semi- circular  bay,  and  sloped 
down  to  the  water's  edge.  The  mission  was  dedicated  to  the  Assump- 
tion and  the  present  Church  and  College  of  the  Assumption  stand  on  a 
part  of  the  extensive  grounds.  The  mission  house,  used  at  first  as  the 
priest's  residence  and  presbytery,  was  built  of  hewn  or  sawed  pine 
timber,  30  by  45  feet,  and  two  stories  and  a  half  in  height,  with  dormer 
windows  in  the  attic.  The  largest  portion  of  this  structure  is  still 
standing  and  is  the  oldest  building  in  these  parts.  The  church,  built 
in  the  same  manner,  was  45  by  90  feet.  Besides  the  church  and 
priest's  residence,  there  was  also  a  large  storehouse  for  furs,  an- 
other for  goods  and  provisions,  and  a  forge  or  blacksmith  shop,  with 
suitable  outbuildings.  This  religious  and  mercantile  establishment  was 
erected  primarily  and  directly  for  the  use  of  the  Hurons  living  in  De- 
troit, and  they  could  there  barter  their  furs  without  fear  of  being 
cheated,  and  it  was  also  a  place  where  the  trade  in  French  brand)^  or 
eau  de  vie  could  be  controlled  and  its  evils  lessened.  But  other  Indians 
could  also  trade  there,  and  so  also  could,  and  did,  many  of  the  citizens 
and  soldiers  of  Detroit.  In  1738,  however,  the  Hurons  became  em- 
broiled with  the  Ottawas,  and  afterward  removed  to  Sandusky,  and 
about  1742  again  removed  to  Bois  Blanc  Island  at  the  mouth  of  the 
river,  eighteen  miles  below  Detroit.  Here  Father  Richardie  sent 
Father  Peter  Potier  to  be  their  spiritual  guide,  and  the  land  was  culti- 

In  1747,  as  will  be  related  further  on,  the  Hurons,  invited  by  the 
Iroquois,  engaged  in  a  conspiracy  against  the  French  in  the  fort,  but 
the  plot  was  discovered  and  no  blood  was  spilled.  The  sub-mission  at 
Bois  Blanc  Island  was  broken  up  and  Father  Potier  returned  to  Sand- 
wich, and  the  Hurons  followed  him  and  settled  around  the  mission 

Father  Potier  was  born  in  France  in  1709,  entered  the  Society  of 
Jesus  and  was  ordained  to  the  priesthood  in  1742.  In  1743  he  came  to 
Quebec  and  was  soon  after  sent  to  Detroit  to  assist  father  Richardie, 
who  placed  him  in  charge  of  the  farm  and  mission  at  Bois  Blanc 
Island.  Here,  in  addition  to  his  pastoral  duties,  he  commenced 
to  study  the  Huron  language  and  was  the  author  of  three  grammars  of 
that  tongue  before  he  died.  The  Huron  language  is  similar  to  that  of 
the  Mohawks,  both  being  of  Iroquois  stock.     In  1755  Father  Richardie 


gave  up  the  charge  of  the  mission  and  went  to  Quebec  and  was 
succeeded  by  Father  Potier.  The  latter  continued  the  good  work  of 
converting  the  Indians  and  ministering  to  their  physical  and  spiritual 
needs  until  1781.  He  became  very  feeble,  being  over  seventy  two 
years  of  age.  On  July  16,  of  that  year,  while  in  his  study  he  was  at- 
tacked by  vertigo,  and  falling  backward,  his  head  struck  one  of  the 
andirons  of  the  hearth,  causing  a  fracture  of  the  skull  which  proved 
fatal.  His  obsequies  were  performed  two  days  afterward  by  Vicar- 
General  Hubert  of  St.  Anne's,  Detroit,  and  his  body  was  buried 
beneath  the  altar  of  the  old  church. 

When  the  present  Church  of  the  Assumption  was  dedicated  in  1851, 
the  remains  were  reinterred  beneath  the  altar  of  that  church.  There 
were  two  other  priests  who  were  also  disinterred  and  reburied  at  the 
same  time,  but  Father  Potier's  remains  were  easily  identified  by  his  tall 
stature  and  the  hole  in  his  skull. 


During  the  long  spiritual  rule  of  the  Jesuits  in  America,  their  cour- 
age and  zeal  in  the  interest  of  religion  and  morality  excited  numerous 
and  bitter  enmities.  In  the  old  world  the  same  qualities  and  conduct 
led  them  to  attack  profligacy  in  high  places,  and  for  this  and  other 
causes  they  were  successively  expelled  from  almost  every  country  in 
Europe.  In  1773,  thirteen  years  after  New  France  had  become  a 
British  colony.  Pope  Clement  XIV,  at  the  dictation  of  three  leading 
European  nations,  issued  a  papal  edict,  suppressing  the  Society  of 
Jesus  throughout  the  world.  Sir  Guy  Carleton,  governor  of  Canada, 
heard  of  the  order,  and  in  1774,  when  it  came  to  Bishop  Brand  at 
Quebec,  he  forbade  the  latter  to  promulgate  it.  Carleton,  afterward 
Lord  Dorchester,  was  a  Protestant,  and  as  such  had  no  sympathy  with 
the  order,  but  he  was  a  statesman.  He  knew  that  the  Jesuits  were  the 
only  persons  in  Canada  who  could  control  the  Indians  and  that  Great 
Britain  would  sustain  great  losses  if  the  order  were  disintegrated. 
Thus  commanded,  Bishop  Brand  obeyed,  and  thereby  braved  the  ter- 
rible penalty  of  excommunication.  He  explained  his  course  to  Rome, 
but  before  action  was  taken  Pope  Clement  died  in  1774,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Pius  VI,  who  was  a  friend  of  the  Jesuits.  The  edict 
was  obeyed  in  all  parts  of  the  world  except  Canada  and  White  Russia, 
and  the  missions  and  other  establishments  in  these  countries  were  held 
intact  by  the  order.     But  Sir  Jeffrey  Amherst,  who  had  been  appoint- 


ed  governor  general  of  the  British  possessions  in  America  in  1760,  and 
was  governor  of  Virginia  in  1763,  coveted  the  rich  lands  of  the  Jesuits 
in  Canada,  and  petitioned  parliament  for  them  as  a  recompense  for  his 
services.  The  question  was  referred  to  the  judiciary  of  the  House  of 
Lords,  who  were  quite  willing  to  accommodate  a  distinguished  soldier, 
but  the  fact  that  the  lands  had  been  granted  to  the  Jesuits  for 
educational  purposes,  forbade  them  to  make  a  report  favoring  Gen- 
eral Amherst's  interests.  They  did  report,  in  effect,  that  any  lands 
granted  to  the  Jesuits,  and  not  used  for  educational  purposes,  might 
be  escheated  to  the  crown.  Amherst  paid  the  expenses  of  two  com- 
mittees of  investigation,  and  after  his  death,  in  1797,  the  matter 
was  pressed  by  his  son,  but  their  efforts  were  fruitless.  Finally  it 
was  ordered  that  the  Jesuits  in  Canada  should  not  increase  their  num- 
ber, and  that  after  the  death  of  all  the  existing  members  of  the  order 
the  property  should  revert  to  the  crown.  At  the  time  there  were  thir- 
teen Jesuits  in  the  whole  of  Canada,  whose  names,  locations  and  ages 
were  as  follows: 

Augustine  de  Glapion,  superior,  Quebec,  fifty-five  years. 

Peter  Du  Jaunay,  chaplain  of  the  Ursuline  Convent,  Quebec,  seventy 

John  Joseph  Casot,  Quebec,  forty-six  years. 

Alexis  Morquette,  Quebec,  sixty-four  years. 

Peter  Rene  Floquet,  Montreal,  fifty-eight  years. 

Bernard  Wall,  Montreal,  fifty  years. 

Stephen  Girault  de  Villeneuve,  with  the  Hurons  at  Loretto,  near 
Quebec,  fifty  years. 

Peter  Potier,  Huron  mission  of  Detroit,  sixty-six  years. 

Antoine  Gordan,  Iroquois  mission  at  St.  Regis,  forty-nine  years. 

Jean  Baptiste  de  la  Prosse,  missionary  with  Abinaquis  at  Tadousac, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  fifty  years. 

Joseph  Huguet,  missionary  with  the  Iroquois  at  Laprairie,  forty-nine 

Louis  M.  La  Franc,  missionary  with  the  Ottawas,  fifty-eight  years. 

Sebastian  L.  Meaurin,  Kaskaskia,  111.,  sixty-seven  years. 

The  commandants  of  the  various  places  in  which  the  Jesuits  were 
stationed  were  specially  instructed  in  regard  to  filing  reports  of  the 
dates  of  their  deaths,  and  Col.  Arent  Schuyler  De  Peyster,  command- 
ant of  Detroit  from  1779  to  1784,  was  notified  to  seize  Father  Potier's 
papers  immediately  after  his  demise  and  forward  them  to  the  governor- 


general.  De  Peyster  did  so,  but  the  old  priest  had  removed  them,  and 
the  notes  in  his  diary  for  1761-63  were  gone.  The  reason  for  the  latter 
will  be  related  further  on  in  the  chapter  which  treats  of  Gladwin's  de- 
fense of  Detroit  against  Pontiac.  Father  Potier  had  also  taken  good 
care  that  the  British  should  not  profit  at  the  expense  of  the  order.  He 
had  sold  all  the  lands  belonging  to  the  Jesuit  mission  at  Sandwich  and 
Detroit,  the  deeds  having  been  signed  by  the  superior  of  the  order  at 
Quebec,  and  when  he  died  there  remained  only  the  church,  the  priest's 
residence  and  the  graveyard,  neither  of  which  could  be  confiscated. 
The  other  lands  of  the  order  in  Canada,  however,  were  all  seized  and 
the  revenues  applied  to  educational  purposes,  a  majority  of  which  were 
non- Catholic.  About  ten  years  ago,  a  movement  asking  for  a  restora- 
tion of  these  lands  to  the  order  was  commenced,  and  after  several  years 
discussion  in  parliament  it  was  decided  that  $400,000  should  be  con- 
sidered as  an  equivalent  of  the  $4,000,000  worth  of  property  taken  from 
the  Jesuits.  It  was  left  to  the  Pope  and  his  counselors  to  determine 
how  it  should  be  bestowed,  and  they  decided  that  the  Catholic  arch- 
bishop of  the  Province  of  Quebec  should  have  the  largest  half,  and  the 
Jesuit  order  of  that  province  the  smallest  half.  For  legal  reasons  some 
$63,000  were  also  given  for  educational  purposes  to  the  Protestant  de- 
nomination in  Lower  Canada.  When  all  this  was  done,  the  matter 
was  disposed  of  for  all  time. 


Detroit  is  Besieged  by  the  Sacs  and  Foxes,  Indians  from  Green  Bay — The  Church 
of  St.  Anne's  Burned — Hard  Fought  Battle  at  Windmill  Point  in  Which  the  Hostile 
Indians  are  Defeated — 1712. 

Even  with  Cadillac  out  of  the  way  there  was  still  a  demand  for  an 
able  commandant  at  Detroit.  Dubuisson  found  himself  confronted 
with  an  Indian  war  in  1712,  soon  after  Cadillac  had  gone  to  France  to 
prepare  for  his  new  office.  On  the  peninsula  which  incloses  Green  Bay, 
and  in  the  adjoining  territory,  dwelt  a  tribe  of  Indians  known  as  the 
Foxes;  they  were  Ishmaelites  among  the  western  tribes  and  had  a  sort 
of  alliance  with  the  Iroquois  of  the  east.  An  army  of  this  tribe  came 
down  to  erase  Detroit  from  the  map  in  the  spring  of  1712.     Dubuisson, 


who  had  a  singular  gift  for  romancing,  describes  them  as  an  innumer- 
able throng  who  came  with  streaming  banners  and  accompanied  by 
many  allies,  each  bearing  the  ensign  of  the  tribe.  This  was  an  unusual 
practice  and  was  probably  a  fanciful  description.  At  the  time  of  their 
arrival  the  friendly  Hurons  and  Ottawas  were  on  a  hunting  trip,  but 
runners  were  sent  out  to  notify  them,  and  they  returned  and  rallied  to 
the  defense  of  the  post  and  were  admitted  through  the  gates  of  the  fort. 
The  Foxes  were  associated  with  the  Outagamies  and  Mascoutins  when 
they  commenced  the  siege.  The  church  of  St.  Anne  was  close  to  the 
stockade,  and  for  fear  that  it  might  be  set  on  fire  by  the  blazing  arrows 
and  endanger  the  other  buildings,  the  rattled  commandant  pro  tern. 
burned  it  himself.  The  hostiles  built  a  long  breastwork  within  two 
hundred  feet  of  the  fort,  and  fired  hundreds  of  blazing  arrows  of  pitch 
pine  into  the  roofs  of  the  buildings,  many  of  which  were  thatched  with 
grass,  and  the  place  was  in  danger  of  destruction.  But  the  peltries  in 
the  warehouse  were  brought  out,  and  the  roofs  were  covered  with 
wetted  skins  so  that  the  danger  from  fire  was  greatly  reduced.  After 
making  an  unsuccessful  attempt  to  capture  the  fort,  and  failing  also  to 
fire  it,  the  hostiles  withdrew  to  the  banks  of  Lake  St.  Clair,  and  the 
commandant  forthwith  dispatched  M.  de  Vincennes  with  a  company  of 
Frenchmen  and  an  army  of  Indians  to  drive  them  away.  The  attack- 
ing party  found  the  enemy  entrenched  behind  fallen  trees  near  the 
present  Windmill  Point.  Instead  of  charging  this  breastwork  and  sac- 
rificing many  lives  in  the  assault,  the  French  and  their  allies  erected 
high  stagings  along  the  front  of  the  works,  and  taking  positions  on 
these,  they  compelled  the  Foxes  to  keep  under  cover.  The  latter  were 
not  permitted  to  resort  to  the  lake  shore  for  water  and  were  finally  com- 
pelled by  the  torments  of  thirst  to  break  cover  and  fly.  Dubuisson  in 
his  official  report  said  that  1,000  of  the  invaders  were  killed,  while  his 
loss  was  trivial,  but  his  figures  should  be  taken  with  due  allowance  for 
an  imaginative  temperament.  It  is  certain  that  the  survivors  of  this 
foray  were  a  formidable  body.  They  returned  to  Green  Bay,  where 
they  erected  a  large  stockade  on  a  commanding  site  at  "  Buttes  des 
Morts  "  ("  Hills  of  the  Dead  ")  and  they  caused  that  region  to  be  avoid- 
ed for  years  after  by  the  traders  of  the  fur  companies. 

This  trouble  compelled  the  aged  De  la  Forest  to  come  and  take 
charge  of  the  post  in  person  in  1712,  and  the  friendly  Indians  who  had 
been  so  loyal  were  rewarded  with  many  presents.  One  of  La  Forest's 
first  acts  was  to  rebuild  the  church  of  St.  Anne.     The  first  had  been 


destroyed  in  the  mysterious  fire  of  1703;  the  second  in  1712,  to  prevent 
the  attacking  forces  from  using  it  as  a  shelter ;  and  that  erected  by  De 
la  Forest  was  the  third. 

Detroit  was  but  a  feeble  military  station  at  this  time.  Of  the  fifty 
soldiers  who  had  come  with  Cadillac,  all  but  twenty  had  deserted. 
Settlers  had  not  increased  because  of  the  discouragements  which  had 
been  thrown  in  their  way  by  the  enemies  of  the  post.  M.  de  la  Forest 
saw  the  natural  advantages  of  Detroit,  and  at  first  urged  its  develop- 
ment into  an  important  settlement,  but  soon  yielded  to  the  subtle  influ- 
ence of  the  Mackinaw  traders  and  priests,  and  did  not  attempt  to 
attract  settlers.  He  was  old  in  years  and  his  vital  energies  were  about 
spent.  Before  two  years  had  passed  he  was  relieved  by  the  appoint- 
ment of  that  once  gay  lieutenant,  Charles  Jacques  Sabrevois,  with 
whom  Cadillac  had  a  serious  quarrel  in  Quebec  twenty-nine  years  be- 
fore. Sabrevois  was  no  longer  a  frivolous  lady-killer,  but  a  man  of 
conservative  ideas  and  he  and  Cadillac  were  on  friendly  terms  when 
the  latter  left  the  colony.  He  remained  in  command  from  1714  until 
1717,  when  Henry  Tonty,  brother  of  Captain  Alphonse  and  son  of  Bras 
de  Fer  (Hand  of  Iron),  the  old  companion  of  La  Salle,  was  made  com- 
mandant, although  the  Sieur  de  Louvigny  was  acting  commandant  until 
he  arrived. 

In  1717  the  Foxes  had  become  such  a  detriment  to  travel  in  the 
northwest  that  M.  Louvigny  was  sent  to  Green  Bay  with  an  expedition 
of  French  and  Indians.  For  five  years  the  Foxes  had  so  commanded 
the  territory  of  Wisconsin  that  no  traders  could  cross  from  Green  Bay 
to  the  Mississippi,  without  paying  them  tribute,  and  Louvigny  laid 
siege  to  their  fort  with  the  determination  of  driving  them  out.  Just  as 
he  was  about  to  order  a  general  assault  upon  their  works  the  Foxes 
surrendered,  and  after  that  time  the  tribe  became  amalgamated  with 
the  Sac  tribe.  In  1718  Commandant  Henry  Tonty  received  orders  to 
rebuild  the  fort,  and  the  work  was  done  so  thoroughly  that  Fort  Pont- 
chartrain  was  the  best  wooden  fortification  on  the  continent.  He  was 
relieved  of  the  command  in  1720.  It  was  customary  to  relieve  com- 
mandants at  least  once  in  three  years  by  sending  orders  by  one  of  the 
officers  stationed  at  Quebec,  and  the  official  messenger  took  charge 
until  the  succeeding  commandant  arrived.  The  messenger  and  tem- 
porary commandant  in  this  case  was  Lieut.  Joseph  Noyelle. 

Alphonse  Tonty,  the  new  commandant,  who  was  a  brother  of  Henry, 
soon   arrived  from  Fort  Frontenac,  and  he  remained  in   command  at 


Detroit  for  seven  years,  although  his  management  was  characterized 
by  crooked  dealings  with  the  Indians  and  with  his  government.  He 
was  consistently  dishonest  and  treacherous  to  friend  and  foe  during 
his  term  of  office.  He  petitioned  for  discretionary  powers  in  dispens- 
ing brandy  to  the  Indians,  and  when  it  was  refused  he  dealt  it  out  sur- 
reptitiously. He  installed  four  unscrupulous  intimates  at  the  post  to 
conduct  the  trading,  and  abolished  the  free  trading  of  the  settlers. 
One  of  the  four  was  Nolan,  who  had  been  in  the  conspiracy  with  Ar- 
naud,  Desnoyer  and  the  other  clerks  of  the  Company  of  the  Colony. 
The  other  three  were  named  Chiery,  La  Marque  and  Gatineau.  The 
new  traders  plied  the  Indians  with  liquor,  cheated  them  in  trade,  and 
made  the  most  of  their  opportunities.  Under  such  conditions  the  In- 
dians began  to  grow  unfriendly,  and  the  older  chiefs  wanted  to  go  to 
Albany  to  trade,  but  brandy  served  as  a  magnet  to  hold  them  to  De- 
troit, while  the  commandant  and  his  confederates  feathered  their  nests. 
The  residents  at  the  post  protested  against  the  abuses  in  a  petition  to 
the  governor,  but  Tonty  managed  to  hold  his  position  for  a  time. 
Other  commandants  who  had  succeeded  Cadillac  had  held  the  property 
of  the  first  commandant  in  the  name  of  the  king,  and  transferred  it  in 
turn  to  their  successors,  but  Tonty  seized  everything  he  could  find, 
claiming  it  as  his  personal  property.  The  grains  and  garden  seeds 
introduced  by  Cadillac  had  led  the  settlers  and  Indians  to  practice 
agriculture,  and  at  the  close  of  several  productive  seasons  considerable 
quantities  of  wheat  were  shipped  out  of  Detroit  to  supply  the  other 
posts.  Much  of  this  grain  was  produced  by  the  Indians,  who  made 
great  progress,  while  the  whites  appeared  to  be  at  a  standstill. 

Meanwhile  the  complaints  against  Commandant  Alphonse  Tonty 
were  being  investigated,  and  the  evidence  showed  that  he  was  dis- 
honest. He  was  relieved  of  his  command  on  October  25,  1727,  and  he 
died  at  Detroit  in  the  following  November. 

Governor  Beauharnois  sent  M.  C.  Le  Pernouche  to  Detroit  to  succeed 
Tonty;  and  in  the  following  year  Jean  Baptiste  Deschallions  de  St. 
Ours,  an  able  soldier,  was  installed  as  commandant.  At  this  time, 
through  Alphonse  Tonty's  greed  and  rapacity,  the  post  was  in  a  bad  con- 
dition. The  settlers  had  been  reduced  to  twenty- eight  or  thirty  and 
wheat  was  twenty-two  livres  per  minot.  Agriculture  had  been  dis- 
couraged and  the  settlers  did  not  care  to  cultivate  the  land,  preferring 
to  go  into  trade  with  its  greater  profits. 

St.  Ours  was  followed  in  a  few  months  by  Charles  Joseph  de  Noyelle, 

1 33 

who,  in  the  fall  of  1728,  was  succeeded  by  De  Boishebert,  who  was 
commandant  at  Detroit  from  1728  until  the  summer  of  1734 — a  period 
six  )^ears 

In  1730  the  affairs  of  the  settlement  had  become  burdensome  to  the 
commandant  and  it  became  necessary  to  have  a  civil  officer  who  would 
collect  the  crown  dues  and  attend  to  the  legal  duties  of  the  post.  Robert 
Navarre,  a  native  of  Villeroy,  Britanny,  came  out  from  France  that 
year  and  was  made  intendant  of  Detroit.  He  was  a  young  man  who 
had  just  attained  his  majority,  and  was  one  of  the  very  few  sprigs  of 
nobility  who  settled  in  the  West.  Most  of  those  who  assumed  noble 
titles  could  not  claim  a  noble  lineage,  but  Robert  Navarre  was  only  re- 
moved by  eight  generations  from  the  throne  of  France.  His  royal  an- 
cestor was  Henry  of  Navarre,  afterward  Henry  IV  of  France,  who  had 
a  natural  son  known  as  Jean  Navarre.  The  latter  was  an  older  half- 
brother  of  Louis  XIII,  who  succeeded  to  the  throne.  Robert  Navarre 
left  a  record  in  Detroit  which  was  worthy  of  his  ancestry.  Remarried 
Mary  Lootman  dit  Barrois,  in  1734,  and  reared  a  large  family.  He  re- 
mained in  his  position  of  trust  during  the  thirty  years  of  French  rule 
which  followed,  and  when  the  English  took  possession,  M.  Navarre 
was  retained  in  the  capacity  of  justice,  magistrate  and  notary  for  some 
time.  In  the  official  reports  of  the  English  commandants  he  is  praised 
as  being  a  most  honorable  and  capable  man,  worthy  of  the  highest  confi- 
dence. The  Navarres  became  numerous  in  the  course  of  time,  and  when 
the  war  of  1812  came,  it  is  a  matter  of  record  that  thirty-six  Navarres 
served  with  Winchester  under  command  of  Col.  Francois  Navarre. 
Their  descendants  in  Detroit  and  Michigan  are  still  numerous.  Some  are 
to  be  found  in  the  most  aristocratic  circles  and  others  among  the  lowly. 

Sieur  de  Boishebert  was  an  active  official.  He  was  sent  by  Governor 
de  Callieres  to  Mackinac  to  confer  with  the  savages.  In  1705  he  helped 
to  capture,  off  Boston,  three  British  ships  laden  with  powder.  From 
1707  to  1710  he  was  detached  as  commissary  at  Acadia,  and  was  after- 
ward assistant  engineer  on  the  fortification  of  Quebec.  In  1713  he  offi- 
cially explored  the  coast  of  Labrador,  and  was  eighteen  years  adjutant 
at  Quebec.  He  was  quite  popular  while  commandant  of  Detroit,  and 
after  his  death  in  1736  his  widow  petitioned  for  a  pension  to  support 
her  three  daughters  and  one  son.  But  she  did  not  get  it.  The  thrifty 
authorities  in  France  found  that  she  had  a  fair  income  from  an  es- 
tate in  that  country,  which  had  been  inherited  by  her  children,  and  so 
she  had  to  do  without  a  pension. 


Governor  Beauharnois,  whoruled  New  France  from  17'26  to  1757,  tried 
to  have  two  vessels  placed  on  Lake  Erie  in  order  to  establish  a  better 
communication  between  the  French  posts  on  the  lakes,  but  he  was  un- 
successful. At  his  suggestion,  maps  of  the  lake  system  were  forwarded 
to  Count  Maurepas,  then  minister  of  marine  in  France,  but  the  funds 
of  the  empire  were  not  bestowed  and  the  vessels  were  not  built.  Beau- 
harnois also  advised  the  encouragementof  settlers  at  Detroit.  It  would 
seem  that  the  public  mill  which  was  installed  by  Cadillac  must  have 
gone  wrong,  for  under  Boishebert  a  grant  was  issued  to  Charles  Cam- 
pau,  permitting  him  to  erect  a  water  mill  on  a  stream  which  flowed 
into  the  Detroit  River  from  the  west  along  the  little  ravine  now  occu- 
pied by  the  Michigan  Central  depot  tracks  about  Tenth  street,  and 
which  was  called  Cabacier's  Creek  in  later  years.  This  mill  was  au- 
thorized about  the  year  1734. 

Judging  from  the  records  it  would  appear  that  the  commandants  were 
soon  deprived  of  the  revenue  which  Cadillac  and  some  of  his  successors 
derived  from  ground  rents  and  trading  licenses,  and  the  proceeds  were 
turned  over  to  the  crown.  Possibly  the  grasping  methods  of  Alphonse 
Tonty  caused  the  change.  When  Count  Maurepas  became  minister  of 
marine,  he  endeavored  with  the  co  operation  of  Beauharnois,  and  his 
successors,  La  Jonquiere  and  De  laGallissoniere,  to  build  up  the  French 
settlements  and  encourage  farming. 

Then  the  greatest  rascal  of  the  French  regime  was  appointed  com- 
mandant on  June  10,  1734.  Hughes  Pean  de  Livandiere  was  a  bold 
but  clumsy  rogue.  He  acted  in  conjunction  with  Intendant  Begon, 
who  was  his  friend,  and  this  connection  no  doubt  made  him  reckless. 
In  the  archives  of  France  is  a  report  of  a  trial  in  which  Pean  and  Begon 
were  defendants;  they  were  charged  with  malfeasance  in  office,  and 
Pean  was  fined  120,000  livres.  The  actions  of  Pean  during  the  five 
months  of  his  term  must  have  been  extremely  flagrant  and  rapacious 
to  cause  the  infliction  of  such  heavy  punishment.  When  Pean  had  been 
ejected  from  office  in  November,  1734,  Sabrevois  was  sent  back  to  De- 
troit and  this  time  he  remained  in  command  four  years. 

In  1735,  while  Sabrevois  was  serving  his  second  term,  the  Fox  In- 
dians, who  had  united  with  the  Sakis  or  Sacs,  as  they  were  called  by 
the  English,  began  to  make  trouble  again.  They  had  retired  from 
Wisconsin  and  established  their  villages  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, in  the  region  now  known  as  the  State  of  Iowa.  Their  pres- 
ence made  it  dangerous  for  the  French  traders  who  did  business  in  the 


Illinois  country,  and  they  frequently  fell  upon  parties  of  Indians  from 
Detroit  as  they  were  going  to  make  war  upon  the  Flatheads.  Lieu- 
tenants de  Noyelle  and  St.  Ours,  both  ex-commandants,  organized  an  ex- 
pedition against  these  tribes,  and  they  set  out  in  March,  1735,  with  a 
company  of  twenty  Frenchmen  and  several  hundred  Ottawas  and 
Hurons.  Ice  was  running  in  the  Mississippi  and  the  party  had  much 
difficulty  in  crossing.  They  found  that  the  enemy  had  taken  a  strong 
position  on  the  further  bank  of  a  swift  tributary  stream.  The  Ottawas 
were  eager  to  plunge  into  the  river  and  swim  it  in  spite  of  the  cold,  but 
De  Noyelle  and  St.  Ours  saw  that  such  a  course  would  be  fatal,  as 
their  arms  and  ammunition  would  become  wet  and  useless  and  they 
would  then  be  at  the  mercy  of  the  Foxes.  The  Indians  derisively 
said  that  the  Frenchmen  were  no  better  than  squaws,  because  of  their 
hesitation,  and  to  satisfy  the  savages  an  attack  was  made  by  a  party 
which  was  sent  farther  up  the  stream.  This  party  did  not  succeed  in 
surprising  the  enemy,  and  came  near  being  exterminated  as  soon  as 
they  had  crossed,  as  a  superior  force  attacked  them  and  drove  them  to 
the  bank  of  the  stream.  The  French  came  to  their  assistance,  and 
after  two  days  of  hard  fighting  the  Foxes  retired  and  sent  a  messenger 
to  ask  for  peace.  A  treaty  was  finally  accomplished  with  mutual  satis- 
faction and  the  expedition  returned  to  Detroit  after  suffering  many 

In  1735  the  demand  for  beaver  furs  had  revived  to  such  magnitude 
that  178,000  pounds  of  them  had  been  received  at  Quebec  for  shipment 
to  France.  Just  what  caused  the  lack  of  demand  in  1701  is  not  known, 
but  it  was  probably  some  change  in  the  fashion  of  head  wear  in  France 
at  that  time  that  dispensed  with  beaver  as  the  leading  material. 

In  1735  Governor  Beauharnois  and  Intendant  Hocquart  were  most 
emphatic  in  asking  Count  Maurepas,  who  had  succeeded  Pontchartrain 
as  minister  of  marine,  that  a  considerable  force  of  troops  be  sent  to 
Detroit.  They  declared  that  the  system  of  requiring  the  commandant 
to  keep  up  the  post  at  his  own  expense,  and  reimbursing  him  by  allow- 
ing him  a  monopoly  of  the  trading  licenses,  to  be  a  sorry  failure. 
Commandants  were  anxious  to  make  all  possible  profit  out  of  the  office, 
and,  as  every  soldier  was  a  drain  upon  their  pocketbooks,  they  kept 
the  number  down  to  an  inadequate  force.  They  showed  that  it  was 
the  soldiers  who  came  to  Detroit  with  Cadillac  that  had  insured  the 
first  success  of  the  post  as  a  permanent  settlement,  and  insisted  that 
Detroit  was  a  station  which  should  be  strongly  defended.     They  urged 



that  it  be  made  a  central  station,  from  which  troops  could  be  sup- 
plied to  the  other  posts  of  the  West  whenever  it  should  become  neces- 

Again  in  1737  they  pleaded  for  the  strengthening  of  Detroit.  They 
argued  that  the  farming  out  of  the  revenues  of  the  post  tended  to 
make  the  commandant  extortionate  and  that  this  discouraged  the  set- 
tlers. Sieur  de  Noyelle,  the  commandant  at  that  writing,  maintained 
but  seventeen  soldiers  at  Detroit.  In  place  of  the  established  system, 
Beauharnois  and  the  intendant  advised  that  the  office  of  commandant 
be  made  permanent,  and  recommended  that  instead  of  allowing  that 
officer  the  control  of  the  trading,  that  he  be  placed  on  a  salary.  The 
expense  to  the  king  was  estimated  at  $1,200.  The  proceeds  of  the 
trading  permits  averged  ^1,330  a  year,  which  included  $100  paid  by 
the  two  armorers  and  $30  paid  by  private  persons  living  within  the  in- 
closure  of  the  fort. 


A  Feud  Commenced  Between  the  Huron  and  Ottawa  Tribes — The  Hurons 
Compelled  to  Flee  to  Sandusky — They  Return  to  Settle  at  Bois  Blanc  Island  and 
Later  at  Sandwich— 1735-1746. 

A  quarrel  between  the  Hurons  and  the  Ottawas  took  place  at  Detroit 
in  the  spring  of  1738,  which  gave  the  commandant  and  the  governor 
much  trouble  for  five  years  thereafter.  A  council  was  being  held  in 
the  house  of  Commandant  de  Noyelle.  The  Hurons  and  Ottawas 
were  present,  as  were  also  the  Potawatomies  and  the  Sauteurs,  the  lat- 
ter being  a  tribe  from  the  Au  Sable  River,  north  of  Saginaw  Bay. 
During  this  council  the  head  chief  of  the  Hurons  arose  and  presented  a 
belt  to  the  head  chief  of  the  Ottawas,  thus  acknowledging  his  seniority. 

"The  Hurons  have  made  peace  with  the  Flatheads  of  the  west," 
said  he.  ' '  We  are  now  brothers,  and  we  invite  you  to  regard  them  in 
the  same  way.  We  would  be  glad  to  have  peace  in  the  land.  How- 
ever, if  you  continue  to  send  war  parties  against  the  Flatheads,  some 
of  our  young  men  may  go  to  warn  them  of  their  danger." 

The  chief  of  the  Ottawas  replied  in  dudgeon  :  "  Who  art  thou,  Huron, 
to  lay  down  the  law  to  me  ?     What  is  thy  design?     I  think  thou  de- 


sirest  to  do  evil  and  then  to  take  refuge  with  the  Flatheads.  It  was  in 
thy  power  to  make  peace  with  them,  but  as  for  me,  I  do  not  accept 
thy  belt;  I  hand  it  over  to  our  father  who  represents  the  person  of 
Onontio  here.  If  Onontio  tells  us  that  it  is  his  will,  then  we  shall 
hearken  to  his  word.  Thou  shouldst  know  that  when  peace  was  made 
that  our  father  gave  this  tribe  to  all  the  others  to  devour.  Our  blood 
has  been  shed  along  their  path ;  our  bones  are  in  their  huts,  and  our 
scalps  hang  above  them.  The  frames  on  which  they  burned  us  and 
the  stakes  still  stand.  If  the  Flatheads  desired  peace,  they  should 
have  spoken  to  us  about  it." 

The  Potawatomies  and  the  Sauteurs  sided  with  the  Ottawas.  The 
latter  made  up  a  party  of  seventeen  young  warriors  and  sent  them  on  a 
foray  against  the  Flatheads.  The  Ottawas  met  two  parties  of  Hurons 
while  on  the  way.  The  Ottawas  crept  up  unobserved  upon  a  Flathead 
village  and  killed  and  scalped  a  woman.  As  they  were  drawing  nearer 
with  intent  to  surprise  the  camp  the  cry  of  a  raven  was  heard  and  in- 
stantly the  Flatheads  were  on  the  alert.  The  raven  cry  had  two  mean- 
ings among  the  Hurons.  It  meant:  "We  are  hungry  for  meat,"  and 
it  also  served  as  a  warning  against  impending  danger.  It  was  not  used 
by  the  Flatheads,  although  they  appeared  to  understand  it  in  this  case. 
A  moment  later  the  attacking  Ottawas  found  themselves  between  the 
Flatheads  on  one  side  and  the  Hurons  on  the  other,  and  both  were 
firing  upon  them.  Nine  of  the  Ottawas  were  shot  and  scalped,  and 
five  more  were  taken  prisoners  The  remaining  three  broke  through  the 
line  of  the  Hurons  and  killed  one  of  the  party,  whom  they  recognized. 

When  the  three  survivors  came  within  hail  of  their  village  at  Detroit 
they  gave  the  cry  of  mourning  instead  of  the  scalp  yell  which  would 
have  announced  a  victory.  They  came  into  the  village  to  tell  how  the 
Hurons  had  treacherously  betrayed  them,  and  the  whole  tribe  was  in  a 
furious  rage  against  the  Hurons.  The  Hurons  then  at  Detroit  denied 
that  any  of  their  warriors  had  betrayed  the  Ottawas  or  had  killed  any 
of  them  in  the  fight.  "  We  do  not  shed  the  blood  of  our  brothers," 
they  said. 

"You  are  dogs,"  shouted  the  infuriated  Ottawas,  "You  are  capable 
of  shedding  the  blood  of  your  father  as  well  as  your  brothers." 

"We  have  been  to  war  with  the  Flatheads  many  a  time  but  we  never 
heard  the  raven  cry  before,"  said  one  of  the  survivors.  "I  killed  one 
of  your  men,  Orontega.  When  your  warriors  come  home  we  shall  see 
if  he  is  missing.      Then  you  will  see  that  I  am  speaking  the  truth." 


This  show  of  hostility  alarmed  the  Hurons,  who  retired  to  their  fort, 
and  their  women  and  children  dared  not  go  out  to  cultivate  their  crop 
of  corn.  The  Ottawas  taunted  them  with  being  cowards,  and  told  them 
they  need  not  be  afraid,  as  the  Ottawas  did  not  kill  their  friends  by 
stealth,  and  would  not  harm  them  until  notice  had  been  given  of  a  war. 

The  French  commandant,  De  Noyelle,  who  had  been  recalled  in  the 
fall  of  1738,  sent  a  herald  through  the  settlement,  who  beat  a  pan  and 
warned  all  inhabitants  not  to  sell  powder  and  ball  to  the  Indians  while 
they  were  in  their  present  excitement.  It  was  a  very  awkward  compli- 
cation, as  the  Hurons  were  allied  to  but  five  tribes  in  Canada  and  Ohio, 
while  the  Ottawas  were  related  to  all  the  Indians  in  the  upper  country. 
The  Ottawas  asked  the  Potawatomies  and*  Sauteurs  to  take  up  the 
hatchet  with  them  against  the  Hurons.  De  Noyelle  attempted  to  ap- 
pease them.  The  Hurons  asked  Governor  Beauharnois  to  make  a  new 
home  for  them  at  Montreal,  or  in  some  other  place  where  they  would 
be  safe  from  attacks  by  the  Ottawas  and  their  allies.  That  winter  the 
Hurons  dared  not  winter  in  their  village  at  Detroit,  but  took  to  the 
woods  at  some  place  in  the  interior  of  the  State,  leaving  part  of  their 
corn  crop  unharvested.  The  English  and  the  Iroquois  invited  them  to 
come  to  New  York  and  receive  their  protection,  and  Beauharnois,  the 
French  governor,  sent  his  nephew.  Chevalier  Beauharnois,  to  invite 
them  to  Montreal. 

A  secret  influence,  however,  was  at  work  which  defeated  both  prop- 
ositions. Father  Richardie,  Jesuit  missionary  to  the  Hurons  at  Sand- 
wich, across  the  river  from  Detroit,  wrote  to  the  governor  in  January, 
1739,  that  the  Hurons  were  not  reassured,  and  never  would  feel  safe 
again  while  they  were  in  proximity  to  the  Ottawas.  He  feared  that  at 
the  first  alarm  they  would  either  fi}'  to  a  refuge  among  the  Sonontouans 
(Senecas),  or  to  the  valley  of  the  Ohio  in  Kentucky.  It  was  impossible 
for  the  Hurons  to  live  in  constant  terror  of  their  enemies,  as  their 
women  could  not  plant  corn  and  do  their  usual  work  in  the  fields  about 
Detroit.  A  majority  of  the  Detroit  tribe  then  went  to  Sandusky,  in  the 
territory  of  the  Wyandottes, .  who  were  their  kindred.  While  there 
Governor  Beauharnois  offered  them  an  asylum  at  Montreal,  promising 
them  a  grant  of  land  either  at  Lorette,  the  Falls  of  Montmorency,  both 
near  Quebec,  or  at  the  Lake  of  Two  Mountains,  near  and  north  of 
Montreal;  but  the  Hurons  did  not  go,  because  Father  Richardie  want- 
ed to  keep  them  with  him.  The  latter  wrote  several  times  that  the  In- 
dians did  not  want  to  go  to  Lower  Canada,  but  would  prefer  to  remain 


in  some  place  of  security  near  the  Detroit  mission.  He  advised  that 
they  be  placed  on  Grosse  Lie.  This  Beauharnois  said  would  never  do, 
as  their  isolation  from  the  whites  would  make  them  too  independent, 
and  they  would  be  subject  to  attacks  from  their  enemies  just  as  if  they 
remained  at  Detroit.  The  preservation  of  peace,  he  said,  demanded 
that  they  be  sent  to  Montreal,  for  so  long  as  there  was  insecurity  for 
them  at  Detroit,  there  was  danger  of  their  going  to  the  Flatheads. 
Beauharnois  sent  his  nephew  to  Detroit  as  a  special  envoy  to  the 
Hurons  in  June,  1741,  with  the  following  address: 

"  Listen  to  the  words  of  Onontio,  Hurons.  They  are  borne  to  you  by  one  of  ray 
blood  to  show  how  much  I  have  your  welfare  at  heart.  You  say  you  will  always 
live  in  fear  at  Detroit.  Sastaratsy,  your  king,  sent  word  to  his  brother  at  Lorette, 
the  falls,  and  at  the  Lake  of  Two  Mountains,  that  you  would  be  forced  to  come  to 
them  in  the  autumn.  He  said  you  would  always  be  accused  of  taking  part  in  every 
attack  of  the  Flatheads  upon  the  tribes  at  the  post,  and  that  you  wished  to  come 
to  Montreal.  He  sent  word  through  M.  Noj^elle  asking  for  a  grant  of  lands,  and  for 
an  escort  to  conduct  you  safely.  I  immediately  sent  you  a  message  to  take  you 
away  from  your  fire,  and  to  build  another  for  you  in  this  place,  where  you  will  be 
safe.  Come ;  I  stretch  out  my  arms  to  you  to  place  you  under  my  wing.  I  send  a 
delegation  of  your  brothers  from  the  falls  of  St.  Louis  and  the  Lake  of  Two  Moun- 
tains to  escort  you  in  safety." 

Young  Beauharnois  was  instructed  to  be  patient,  and  if  the  Hurons 
hesitated  to  leave  their  harvest,  he  was  to  winter  with  them,  and 
Agent  Du  Buroy  would  persuade  the  Iroquois  not  to  leave  them  unpro- 
tected. As  soon  as  Beauharnois  arrived  at  Detroit  every  Huron  who 
had  remained  in  the  vicinity  disappeared.  Beauharnois,  when  the 
Hurons  would  not  come  to  him,  went  to  the  Hurons  at  Sandusky,  but 
the  best  he  could  do  after  a  long  labor  with  the  tribe  was  to  induce 
three  old  men  to  accompany  him  back  to  Montreal,  ostensibly  for  the 
purpose  of  arranging  with  the  governor  for  the  transfer,  although  ar- 
rangements were  already  made,  and  a  new  mission  house  and  huts 
were  being  built  for  their  accommodation  at  Lorette.  The  reluctance 
of  the  Hurons  to  accompany  him  was  better  understood  when  a  let- 
ter from  Father  Richardie  to  Father  Jaunay,  who  was  at  a  mission  on 
the  Owashtanong  or  Grand  River,  was  intercepted  by  Beauharnois. 
The  letter  was  written  in  December,  1741,  and  the  following  is  an 
extract : 

"  Chevalier  Beauharnois,  after  a  stay  of  one  month  at  Detroit,  decided  to  go  to 
Sandusky,  as  he  had  not  been  able  to  get  the  Hurons  to  come  here  to  listen  to  him, 
or  to  the  message  from  his  uncle.     I  could  not  omit  making  the  journey  with  him, 


although  I  had  reason  to  be  sure  ±hat  I  was  not  pleasing  him  in  doing  so.  The  suc- 
cess of  his  mission  will  be  limited  to  three  old  men,  who  were  persuaded  with  great 
difficulty  to  accompany  him,  and  who  will  not  say  one  word.  It  is  easy  to  see  that 
the  Chevalier  wanted  to  take  their  mission  away  from  us  that  it  might  fall  to  his 
friend,  M.  .Piquet,  who  has  already  begun  to  have  clearings  made  and  huts  built  at  the 
Lake  of  Two  Mountains  to  receive  them.  But  happen  what  may,  the  Hurons  would 
never  have  any  missionaries  but  us.  The  reverened  father  superior  has  sent  me 
word,  acting  in  connection  with  the  general,  to  settle  them  at  the  great  island 
[Grosse  He]  where  they  could  have  been  better  oflf  than  anywhere.  I  do  not  know 
from  what  this  change  arises.  I  shall  patiently  await  the  word  he  may  send  me  on 
this  matter." 

Judging  from  the  correspondence  that  passed  between  Father  Rich- 
ardie  and  St.  Pe,  the  father  superior,  the  order  preferred  to  keep  the 
Hurons  at  Detroit  or  in  that  immediate  vicinity,  and  used  all  means  to 
prevent  their  transfer  to  a  new  pastor  in  the  person  of  Father  Piquet  at 
Quebec.  It  is  probable  that  the  latter  was  a  Recollect  priest,  and  this 
would  account  for  their  opposition.  Beauharnois  decided,  so  long  as 
he  could  not  persuade  the  Hurons  to  come  to  Montreal,  that  the  next 
best  thing  to  do  would  be  to  send  them  to  make  war  against  the  Flat- 
heads,  in  the  hope  of  winning  again  the  friendship  of  their  near  neigh- 
bors, the  Ottawas.  With  this  purpose  in  view  a  party  of  forty  warriors 
was  made  up,  but  just  as  they  were  about  to  set  out  to  the  Mississippi 
valley  Father  Richardie  sent  them  a  belt  secretly  and  told  them  to  re- 
main at  peace  with  the  Flatheads,  upon  which  the  party  scattered. 

In  1741,  while  the  trouble  was  yet  unsettled.  Commandant  Noyelle 
was  succeeded  by  Pierre  Poyan  de  Noyan,  and  one  of  the  first  acts  of 
the  latter  was  to  take  formal  possession  of  Grosse  He  in  the  name  of 
the  French.  Governor  Beauharnois  would  not  permit  the  Hurons  to 
be  settled  on  Grosse  He,  so  Bois  Blanc  Island,  at  the  mouth  of  the 
river  was  proposed,  but  the  governor  insisted  that  they  be  kept  on  the 
mainland.  Father  Richardie  wrote  coinciding  with  his  views  when 
they  were  peremptorily  expressed.      He  said: 

"  I  have  secured  consent  of  my  people,  the  Hurons  to  settle  on  the  mainland,  and 
it  is  not  advisable  that  they  should  settle  on  the  Great  Island,  which  would  be  a  place 
of  refuge  where  they  would  have  been  able  to  lay  down  the  law." 

Young  Beauharnois  sent  his  uncle  some  of  the  priest's  letters  which 
he  had  intercepted,  and  spoke  very  bitterly  of  the  duplicity  which  had 
defeated  his  purpose  in  coming  to  Detroit.  "  The  Hurons  "  said  he, 
"wanted  to  settle  on  Bois  Blanc  Island,  failing  to  get  Grosse  He. 
Father  Richardie  makes  them  play  all  these  tricks:  you  can  divine  the 


Pierre  de  Celeron  de  Blainville  succeeded  Noyan,  and  retired  in  1743, 
having-  failed  to  effect  a  settlement  of  the  Indian  troubles.  He  was 
followed  b\^  Joseph  Lemoyne  de  Longueuil, 

The  Ottawa- Huron  trouble  was  finally  ended  by  the  removal  of  the 
Hurons,  or  the  largest  part  of  them,  to  Bois  Blanc  Island,  and  they  re- 
mained there  until  1747.  After  the  troubles  of  that  year,  as  related 
elsewhere,  they  came  to  Sandwich  and  lived  around  the  mission  house, 
opposite  their  old  fort  across  the  river.  At  this  time  there  was  still 
a  small  village  of  Hurons  near  what  is  now  Trenton,  and  another 
small  village  at  Sandusky. 

During  the  war  between  France  and  England  the  Hurons  fought  on 
the  side  of  the  French.  When  the  war  was  decided  by  the  final  capit- 
ulation of  Montreal,  they  ceased  hostilities  pending  the  treaty  of 
peace  in  1763.  Although  Sir  William  Johnson  was  well  received  by 
the  Hurons  at  Sandwich,  when  he  visited  Detroit  in  1761,  he  did  not 
secure  their  adhesion.  It  was  only  after  the  Anglo  French  treaty  of 
1763  that  they  concluded  a  peace  with  the  English  at  Niagara,  on  July 
18,  1764. 

After  the  death  of  Father  Potier  at  the  Jesuit  mission  at  Sandwich, 
in  1781,  the  Hurons  still  lived  around  the  mission.  In  1791  they  ceded 
all  their  lands  in  Western  Canada  to  the  British  government,  with  the 
exception  of  two  reservations,  one  being  immediately  west  of  and  ad- 
joining the  Huron  mission  church  line,  of  about  one  hundred  acres; 
and  the  other  being  what  is  now  the  whole  township  of  Anderdon,  on 
the  Detroit  River,  just  above  Amherstburg,  fronting  seven  miles  on 
the  river  and  running  back  the  same  distance. 

The  Hurons  served  on  the  British  side  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  in 
1819  consisted  of  about  ninety  persons,  old  and  young.  In  this  year 
the  principal  property  owners  of  Amherstburg,  including  Richard  Pol- 
lard, Sheriff  William  Hands,  Matthew  Elliott,  J.  B.  Baby,  John  Gentle, 
George  Benson  Hall,  F.  Baby,  Angus  Mcintosh,  John  B.  Askin,  and 
others,  petitioned  Sir  Peregrine  Maitland,  lieutenant  -  governor  of 
Upper  Canada,  that  the  Hurons  be  removed,  on  the  ground  that  their 
occupation  was  inimical  to  the  improvement  of  the  town  and  the  safety 
of  His  Majesty's  fort  (Maiden).  The  petitioners,  however,  desired 
that  the  Hurons  be  liberally  dealt  with  in  land  and  annuities.  The 
petition  was  not  granted. 

In  1836  the  Hurons  on  the  Canada  side  of  the  Detroit  River  were  all 
livingon  their  reservation  at  Anderdon,  and  in  that  year  they  surrendered 


two-thirds  of  the  land  to  the  British  government,  to  be  sold  for  their 
benefit.  They  retained  the  central  third,  lying  on  the  Detroit  River, 
which  they  reserved  for  their  own  use.  In  1876  they  apportioned  the  land 
among  themselves,  giving  to  each  male  one  hundred  acres  and  to  each 
female  fifty  acres,  and  sold  the  residue.  This  apportionment  ended  their 
tribal  relation  with  the  government,  and  they  ceased  to  be  Indians  in 
a  legal  sense.  In  Anderdon  at  the  time  of  the  disbandment  there  was 
but  one  king  or  head  chief,  whose  Indian  name  was  Mondoron,  and  whose 
English  name  was  Joseph  White.  He  stayed  in  Anderdon  and  lived 
on  his  lands,  and  died  in  Windsor  in  1886.  He  left  six  children — four 
sons  and  two  daughters— who  are  all  living.  His  sons  are  Solomon 
White,  ex-M.  P.  P.  for  Essex  county;  Thomas  B.  White,  merchant, 
Anderdon;  Alex.  White  and  Joseph  White,  capitalists,  Windsor.  The 
daughters  are  Mrs.  Christine  Raymon  and  Mrs.  Eva  M.  Scully,  of 
Windsor.  These  children  inherited  his  patrimonial  acres  and  money. 
Up  to  1843  the  few  Hurons  who  had  lived  near  Trenton,  in  Wayne 
county,  on  the  American  side  of  the  Detroit  River,  and  those  near  San- 
dusky, O.,  still  kept  up  their  tribal  relations.  In  that  year  both  bands 
agreed  to  terminate  their  tribal  relations,  and  they  sold  their  reserva- 
tions and  went  to  Wyandotte,  Kansas,  where  they  bought  a  large  tract 
of  land.  Here,  however,  they  found  it  necessary  to  resume  the  tribal 
ties  and  customs,  but  in  1866  they  sold  the  lands,  divided  the  money, 
and  ceased  to  be  classed  as  Indians. 


Recreations  and  Occupations  of  the  Early  Settlers  —  Races  between  the  Fleet 
French  Ponies  on  the  Ice — Attempt  to  Extend  the  French  Domain  in  Ohio  and 
Pennsylvania— 1750-1760. 

"  The  recreations  of  the  French  colonists,"  says  Lanman,  "  consisted 
in  attending  the  rude  chapels  on  the  borders  of  the  wilderness,  and  in 
adorning  their  altars  with  wild  flowers;  in  dancing  to  the  sound  of  the 
violin  at  each  other's  houses,  inhunting  the  deer  and  other  game  through 
the  Oakland  openings  and  in  paddling  their  light  canoes  across  the  clear 
and  silent  streams."  To  this  list  might  be  added  horse  racing,  after 
the  speedy  and  hardy  French  pony  was  introduced  into  the  settlement 


about  1740.  In  winter  the  equine  contests  were  continued  on  the  ice, 
and  in  Detroit  the  race  course  for  this  diversion  for  the  past  150  years 
was  that  part  of  the  Rouge  River  between  the  river  road  and  the  Detroit 
River,  some  three  miles  from  the  present  city  hall  The  Indians  were 
expert  players  at  foot  ball  and  lacrosse,  and  in  many  of  these  games 
the  whites  participated.  Both  under  French  and  English  rule,  many 
citizens  indulged  in  bowling  with  cannon  balls  in  the  narrow  streets 
within  the  stockade,  but  this  amusement  ceased  with  the  great  fire  of 

The  women,  outside  of  ordinary  domestic  avocations,  occupied  them- 
selves in  making  coarse  cotton  cloths  for  the  Indian  trade,  and  in  later 
years  in  braiding  straw  for  male  and  female  headwear.  Their  com- 
fortable log  houses,  covered  with  clapboards,  fronted  on  the  roadway 
that  ran  close  to  the  banks  of  the  Detroit  and  St.  Clair  Rivers,  and  were 
generally  one  and  a  half  stories  in  height,  the  upper  story  being  chiefly 
within  the  roof.  Dormer  windows  on  the  front  and  sides  gave  light 
and  air  to  this  story.  As  a  rule  the  house  was  whitewashed  or  colored 
white,  and  the  front  door  was  painted  green  and  divided  horizontally 
in  the  center;  the  upper  part  was  kept  open  in  fair  weather,  and  the 
lower  part  closed  to  keep  the  children  from  straying  out  on  the  road 
and  prevent  vagrant  animals  from  entering  the  house.  Inside,  the 
puncheon  floors  were  uncarpeted,  but  kept  very  clean,  and  the  walls 
were  hung  with  rude  pictures  of  the  saints,  the  Madonna  and  her  child, 
and  the  crucifix  of  lead. 

In  front  of  the  house,  across  the  roadway,  was  a  tiny  wharf,  consist- 
ing of  one  or  more  planks  supported  by  sticks  driven  into  the  river 
bed,  and  on  this  the  inmates  walked  out  to  fill  their  pails  with  water. 
Tied  to  the. wharf  was  the  canoe,  which  was  almost  the  only  method  of 
communication  through  the  western  wilds  during  the  French  regime, 
and  was  indispensable  in  fishing  and  trapping. 

The  farms  were  long  and  narrow,  and  stretched  back  into  the  forest 
two  and  three  miles,  but  were  rarely  cultivated  for  more  than  half  a 
mile.  The  farm  houses  being  all  located  on  the  banks  of  the  streain,  on 
a  common  roadway,  the  settlers  were  not  at  all  isolated  from  each  other, 
and  intelligence  of  interesting  or  important  events  could  be  communi- 
cated for  a  distance  of  many  miles,  by  calling  aloud  from  house  to 
house,  each  recipient  of  the  news  repeating  it  to  his  neighbor.  Food 
was  easily  acquired,  and  abundance  of  game  strayed  in  the  woods  and 
sometimes  into  the  very  backyards,  and  the  waters  were  alive  with  fish. 



Agriculture  was  never  skillfully  conducted  by  the  French  settlers  or 
their  Indian  neighbors,  and  their  implements  were  rude  and  cumbrous. 
The  plow  was  of  wood,  except  the  iron  share,  and  with  its  long  beam 
and  handles,  was  ten  or  twelve  feet  long.  The  mouldboard  was  also 
of  wood.  In  front  were  two  wooden  wheels  of  different  sizes,  the 
smaller  one  to  run  on  the  unplowed  side  and  the  larger  one  in  the  fur- 
row. The  simple  harness  was  of  ropes  or  withes  of  twisted  rawhide. 
When  oxen  were  used,  the  ropes  were  passed  around  the  oxen's  horns 
and  they  pulled  with  their  heads,  and  the  plow  followed  and  broke  the 
ground.  This  description  of  the  homes  and  agricultural  operations  is 
taken  mostly  from  Bela  Hubbard's  "Memorials  of  Half  a  Century, " 
published  in  1888,  which  is  a  valuable  contribution  to  the  history  of 
Detroit  and  Michigan.  In  this  work  an  error  occurs  relative  to  the  dis- 
position of  manure  by  the  old  French  settlers.  Hubbard  says:  "The 
fields  were  never  manured,  and  the  farmers,  when  their  manure  heaps 
had  accumulated  to  an  inconvenient  degree  about  their  barns,  adopted 
the  most  ready  means  of  relief  by  carting  the  incumbrance  on  to  the 
ice  in  winter.  The  offensive  material  was  thus  washed  away  without 
further  trouble  when  the  ice  broke  up  in  the  spring." 

This  statement  was  first  made  by  Lewis  Cass,  who  may  have  repeat- 
ed the  statement  of  some  writer,  or  may  have  inferred  that  the  manure 
was  thus  sought  to  be  gotten  rid  of  by  seeing  quantities  of  it  on  the 
ice  in  front  of  the  farm  houses.  But  it  is  impossible  to  believe  that 
French  farmers,  whether  born  in  old  France  or  in  the  American  col- 
onies, should  be  so  grossly  ignorant  of  the  virtue  and  benefits  of  ma- 
nure. The  true  reason  was  because  the  horses,  cattle,  etc.,  were 
watered  in  the  winter  through  holes  in  the  ice,  and  the  manure  was 
spread  on  the  ice,  from  the  shore  to  the  hole,  to  keep  them  from  slip- 
ping and  falling  down. 

In  1746  Mackinac  (Turtle),  a  powerful  Chippewa  chief,  aided  by  sev- 
eral northern  tribes,  including  the  Ottawas  of  that  region,  made  a  de- 
scent on  Detroit.  The  French  showed  a  firm  front  and  were  aided  by 
Pontiac,  then  a  young  chief  of  the  Detroit  Ottawas,  who  thus  fought 
against  his  own  nation  and  kindred.  The  Turtle  and  his  forces  were 
driven  away. 

In  1747  a  formidable  conspiracy  was  formed  by  the  Indians  at  De- 
troit against  the  French.  The  Iroquois  sent  belts  to  the  tribes  here, 
and  a  plot  was  made  to  murder  the  garrison.  It  is  said  that  the  at- 
tack was  really  incited  by  the  English,  which  was  probably  true,   as 


many  other  schemes  of  a  like  purpose  were  directly  traceable  to  them. 
The  massacre  was  to  take  place  on  the  night  of  a  church  holiday, 
when  the  Indians  would  have  admittance  to  the  fort,  and  as  many  as 
possible  were  to  sleep  inside  the  palisades.  Rising-  at  a  certain  time 
in  the  night,  each  savage  was  expected  to  kill  everybody  in  the  house 
where  he  was  staying.  In  this  plot  the  Hurons  were  to  be  the  chief 
actors.  A  day  or  two  before  the  time  of  action  an  Indian  woman  had 
occasion  to  go  to  an  upper  floor  in  one  of  the  buildings,  and  hearing 
voices  below,  stopped  and  listened.  She  heard  the  whole  plan  ar- 
ranged, and,  as  soon  as  she  could  leave  safely,  went  to  the  house  of 
Father  Richardie,  where  she  informed  a  lay  brother  of  the  plot.'  The 
news  soon  reached  De  Longueuil,  the  commandant,  who  immediately 
called  the  Huron  and  other  chiefs  together,  upbraided  them  bitterly 
for  their  intended  treachery,  denounced  them  as  ingrates,  and  threat- 
ened punishment.  As  the  commandant  could  withhold  their  winter 
supplies,  the  chiefs  expressed  great  contrition  and  abandoned  the  plot. 

While  the  conspiracy  was  maturing  little  or  no  attention  was  paid  to 
agriculture,  and,  when  it  was  exposed,  the  provisions  of  the  past  year 
were  about  exhausted.  Almost  a  famine  ensued  in  1747,  and  Com- 
mandant Longueuil  sent  to  Montreal  for  supplies.  A  convoy  of  boats 
laden  with  provisions  was  sent  to  Detroit,  and  150  persons,  soldiers, 
merchants  and  servants,  accompanied  the  expedition.  The  Hurons 
abandoned  Bois  Blanc  Island  and  removed  to  Sandwich,  and  built  them 
bark  cabins  in  close  proximity  to  the  old  mission  house. 

From  an  old  report,  without  signature  or  date,  but  which  was  evidently 
made  several  years  before  1747,  the  numbers  of  the  Indian  tribes  lo- 
cated at  or  near  Detroit,  and  connected  with  the  French  government 
of  Canada,  are  given  as  follows ; 

"  There  were  no  tribes  settled  on  the  coast  of  Lake  Erie.  At  Detroit 
(the  Straits),  between  Lakes  Erie  and  Huron,  the  Pottawatomies  have 
a  village  with  180  warriors.  The  Hurons  are  stated  to  be  reduced  to 
one  village  near  the  fort  of  Detroit,  with  the  exception  of  the  village 
at  Quebec,  and  have  180  warriors.  The  Ottawa  village  on  the  south 
side  of  the  straits,  contains  200  warriors.  The  Mississaquas,  with  60 
warriors,  occupied  a  small  village  at  the  entrance  of  Lake  Huron  [just 
above  the  present  site  of  Port  Huron,  Mich.].  At  the  end  of  Lake 
Huron,  at  the  village  of  Saguinan,  near  Mackinac,  was  another  village 
of  Ottawas  with  80  warriors. " 

Under  the  rule  of  De  Longueuil  the  importance  of  the  outlying  posts 


was  recognized  more  and  more  by  the  French  g-overnment,  and  Gover- 
nor Beauharnois  was  authorized  to  be  more  liberal  in  strengthening 
them.  In  1748  the  fort  at  Detroit  was  enlarged  and  improved,  as  were 
the  other  posts  in  the  North,  Northwest  and  South.  Between  1748  and 
1760,  when  the  French  gave  way  to  the  British,  Fort  Pontchartrain  was 
enlarged  and  strengthened  five  times.  This  was  owing  partly  to  the 
increase  of  population,  and  partly  to  additions  of  military  force,  but 
mainly  to  the  well-founded  belief  that  Detroit  was  the  most  important 
strategic  position  in  the  West,  and  should  be  held  at  all  hazards. 

De  Longueuil  gave  satisfaction  as  commandant  at  Detroit  during  the 
governorship  of  Beauharnois.  When  the  latter  was  superseded  by  the 
Marquis  de  Gallissoniere,  Longueuil  was  retained  for  two  years  after- 
ward. In  1749  the  aged  vSabrevois  was  sent  to  Detroit  for  a  third 

During  this  period  the  French  and  English  were  bent  on  acquiring 
all  territory  in  North  America  within  their  reach,  and  the  whole  time 
was  spent  in  land  grabs  of  greater  or  less  magnitude.  Both  coveted 
the  fertile  lands  of  Ohio  and  Pennsylvania,  and  each  made  efforts  to 
secure  them.  The  French  started  a  small  settlement  at  French  Creek, 
south  of  Lake  Erie.  The  British  offset  this  by  an  organization  called 
the  Ohio  Company,  which  was  granted  500,000  acres  of  the  disputed 
territory.  The  conditions  of  the  grant  were  that  the  company  should 
build  a  fort  and  settle  one  hundred  families  on  the  tract.  This  was  in 

At  this  time  everything  tended  to  show  that  the  French  power  in 
America  was  declining,  but  the  Marquis  de  Gallissoniere  would  not 
acknowledge  it,  even  to  himself,  although  he  was  a  man  of  ability.  In 
1749  he  organized  in  Detroit  and  Montreal  an  expedition  to  renew  the 
claims  of  France  to  a  large  portion  of  Pennsylvania  and  Ohio,  and 
placed  in  charge  of  it  Celeron  de  Bienville,  a  chevalier  of  the  order  of 
St.  Louis.  The  detachment  consisted  of  eight  subaltern  officers,  six 
cadets,  an  armorer,  twenty  soldiers,  180  Canadians,  twenty  Abinakis, 
and  thirty  Iroquois.  A  priest,  named  Father  Bonnecamp,  who  was  a 
scientist,  mathematician  and  map-maker,  accompanied  the  expedition. 
The  party  left  Montreal  in  bateaux  and  traineaux  and  passed  through 
Lake  Ontario;  thence  across  Lake  Erie.  By  another  portage  they 
reached  Chautauqua  Lake  and  thence  by  Conewango  Creek,  they 
reached  the  Alleghany  River  and  proceeded  to  the  headwaters  of  the 
Ohio.     About  a  dozen  lead  plates  were  buried  and  affixed  to  trees  at 


different  points,  each  bearing  an  inscription  showing  that  the  lands 
were  owned  by  the  king  of  France,  by  virtue  of  arms  and  treaties. 
But  the  whole  expedition  was  a  characteristic  piece  of  Gallic  vain- 
glory. Not  a  foot  of  the  land  was  either  guarded  or  defended,  and  it 
all  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  British  in  good  time.  In  after  years 
some  of  the  plates  were  found  and  hung  up  in  farm  houses  as  monu- 
ments of  French  folly.  One  was  melted  and  cast  into  bullets  by  a 
party  of  boys.  After  the  plates  were  buried  the  members  of  the  ex- 
pedition returned  to  Detroit  and  Montreal. 


Feeble  Attempts  to  Strengthen  the  French  Outposts — The  Determination  of  Great 
Britain  to  Seize  the  French  Strongholds  Becomes  Apparent — 1755-1760. 

In  1749  several  hundred  immigrants  were  sent  to  Detroit  by  the 
French  government.  They  were  mostly  composed  of  farmers  and 
were  provided  with  the  necessary  supplies  of  pioneers  in  an  interior 
settlement.  These  included  canvass  for  tents,  hoes,  axes,  sickels,  guns, 
powder,  and  meat,  with  stipulations  that  these  supplies  should  be  paid 
for  when  a  certain  area  of  land  had  been  cleared. 

Sabrevois  was  too  old  and  feeeble  to  be  effective  as  commandant, 
and  in  1751  Pierre  de  Celeron  was  given  another  term,  lasting  until  the 
summer  of  1754. 

These  years  had  been  troubled  by  almost  constant  war  between  the 
French  and  the  British  along  the  eastern  border,  but  Detroit  had  not 
been  threatened  with  any  serious  invasion.  During  the  term  of  Jacques 
d'Anon,  Sieur  de  Muy,  which  began  in  1754  and  closed  in  1758,  Detroit 
was  greatly  strengthened  as  a  military  post  and  supplies  of  provisions, 
arms  and  ammunition  were  laid  in.  Detroit  was  the  emporium  for 
supplying  the  posts  of  Presque  Isle,  Niagara,  Le  Boeuf,  Venango  and 
Du  Quesne,  which  were  on  a  line  from  the  foot  of  Lake  Erie  to  the 
headwaters  of  the  Ohio,  and  when  any  of  these  posts  were  threatened 
with  an  attack,  Detroit  sent  soldiers  and  Indians  to  reinforce  them 
with  all  possible  speed.  In  1758  Francis  Marie  Picote  de  Bellestre, 
the  last  commandant  of  the  French  regime,  came  to  Detroit,  and  upon 


him  was  cast  the  unpleasant  task  of  surrendering-  the  last  important 
French  post  to  the  victorious  English.  The  entire  ag-gregation  of  gov- 
ernors from  first  to  last,  was  made  up  of  a  class  of  men  who  were  more 
anxious  for  their  personal  advancement  than  for  the  development  of 
the  country  or  the  upbuilding  of  a  French  empire  in  the  new  world. 
Cadillac  was  perhaps  the  most  promising  man  of  the  lot,  for  with  all 
his  faults  he  had  an  unbounded  energy  which  would  have  built  up  a 
city  about  his  fort  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of  his  enemies,  had  he  not 
been  removed  by  a  disastrous  promotion. 

During  the  seven  years'  strife  between  England  and  France  for  the 
possession  of  the  northern  part  of  the  country,  the  settlers  were 
ground  as  between  two  millstones.  In  the  Massachusetts  colony  and  in 
New  York  the  troubles  were  termed  the  French  and  Indian  wars,  be- 
cause the  Algonquin  tribes  and  the  New  England  tribes  were  instigat- 
ed to  attack  the  English  colonists,  and  were  supplied  with  arms  and 
ammunition  by  the  French.  In  Michigan  the  French  settlers  were  the 
sufferers,  as  the  British  authorities  furnished  the  Iroquois  nation  with 
arms  and  ammunition,  and  offered  them  inducements  to  attack  the 
French.  The  first  of  these  savage  wars  occurred  in  1689  and  was 
known  as  "  King  William's"  war,  because  it  occurred  under  the  reign 
of  William  and  Mar5^  The  second  occurred  in  1702,  and  was  known 
as  "Queen  Anne's"  war.  The  third,  in  1744,  was  named  "King 
George's  "  war,  and  the  last  and  worst  was  the  "Old  French  and  In- 
dian "  war,  which  lasted  from  1755  to  1763.  In  the  intervals  between 
these  open  wars  there  was  always  more  or  less  trouble,  each  part}' 
making  bloody  forays  when  the  mood  took  them.  The  bulk  of  the 
fighting  took  place  east  of  Lake  Erie,  but  the  influence  of  these  hos- 
tilities reached  as  far  westv/ard  as  the  white  man  had  penetrated. 
During  these  dreadful  years  the  settler  carried  his  musket  wherever  he 
went,  and  was  in  constant  expectation  of  an  attack.  Fields  could  not 
be  cultivated  except  in  close  proximity  to  the  blockhouses,  as  the 
farmers  were  in  danger  of  being  shot  down  and  scalped.  On  Sunday 
when  the  congregation  gathered  for  worship,  the  men  sat  at  the  en- 
trance to  the  church  aisles  with  loaded  muskets  quite  as  convenient  to 
their  hands  as  bibles  or  prayer  books,  and  they  ready  to  rush  out  and 
battle  for  their  lives  at  any  moment.  Hertel  de  Rouville  of  Montreal 
descended  upon  Deerfield,  Mass.,  in  February,  1704,  killed  part  of  the 
settlers  in  a  night  attack  and  marched  one  hundred  prisoners  away 
toward  Canada.     It  was  bitter  weather,  and  when  captives  succumbed 


to  the  cold  they  were  killed  and  scalped.  The  remnant  were  sold  as 
slaves  to  the  Fi-ench  farmers  in  Canada.  Matters  grew  worse  instead 
of  better,  and  it  became  necessary  for  the  nations  to  engage  more 
seriously  and  fight  it  out  to  a  finish. 

The  Massachusetts  colonists  planned  to  capture  the  French  strong- 
holds on  the  Atlantic  coast  and  cut  off  their  communication  with 
France.  On  the  Island  of  Cape  Breton,  just  north  of  Nova  Scotia,  was 
a  fortress  of  great  strength,  commanding  the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of 
St.  Lawrence.  It  was  called  Louisburg,  in  honor  of  the  king,  and  was 
the  Gibraltar  of  the  new  world.  An  expedition  of  four  hundred 
fishermen  and  farmers  was  made  up  in  New  England,  leaving  the 
women  to  plant  and  harvest  the  crops.  Setting  out  from  Marblehead, 
Mass.,  in  the  spring  of  1745,  under  command  of  Gen.  William  Pepper- 
ell,  they  laid  siege  to  Louisburg.  By  the  treaty  of  Utrecht,  made  in 
1713,  Nova  Scotia  had  been  ceded  to  the  British,  and  Cape  Breton  was 
the  nearest  French  possession.  To  give  an  idea  of  the  fortress  it  may 
be  said  that  the  town,  two  and  one  half  miles  in  circumference,  was 
surrounded  by  a  wall  thirty  to  thirty-six  feet  high  and  by  a  deep  moat 
eighty  feet  wide.  It  lay  at  the  back  of  a  landlocked  bay  and  was  de- 
fended by  sixty-five  siege  guns  and  sixteen  mortars.  The  harbor  en- 
trance was  but  half  a  mile  wide  and  this  was  defended  by  a  battery  of 
thirty  cannon  on  each  side.  The  attacking  party  was  made  up  of 
farmers  and  fishermen,  who  had  embarked  in  one  hundred  small 
smacks,  and  were  supported  by  a  squadron  of  British  ships  under  Com- 
modore Warren  in  order  to  prevent  their  wholesale  capture  by  some 
French  warship.  These  undisciplined  farmers  charged  the  harbor 
batteries  and  captured  them,  and  in  fifty-five  days  compelled  the  sur- 
render of  the  place.  The  attempt  of  the  French  to  relieve  the  be- 
leaguered cit)^  failed,  and  a  ship  load  of  food  and  munitions  of  war  was 
captured  by  the  British  squadron.  Duchambon,  the  French  com- 
mandant, then  struck  his  flag.  After  this  brilliant  achievement  the 
fort  was  restored  to  France  three  years  later  by  the  treaty  of  Aix  la 
Chapelle.  In  1757  it  was  again  captured  by  General  Amherst  and 
General  Wolfe,  when  the  place  was  utterly  destroyed  and  the  in- 
habitants were  transported  to  France  in  British  ships. 

In  the  hope  of  securing  some  abatement  of  the  French  claims  to  ter- 
ritory in  the  west,  the  governor  of  New  York  and  the  governor  of  Vir- 
ginia counseled  together  and  finally  selected  a  young  surveyor  to 
present  a  remonstrance  to  the  French  commandant  at  Fort  Du  Quesne 


(Pittsburg).  This  was  a  rude  settlement  at  the  junction  of  the  Alle- 
ghany and  Monongahela  Rivers,  forming  the  headwaters  of  the  Ohio. 
Virginia  settlers  had  obtained  some  land  patents  extending  into  the 
valley  of  the  Ohio,  but  the  French  and  Indians  refused  to  allow  them 
even  a  survey.  The  young  surveyor  who  went  to  lay  the  case  before 
Commandant  Legardeur  de  St.  Pierre  de  Repentigny  was  George  Wash- 
ington. He  found  Repentigny  at  Fort  Le  Boeuf  farther  up  the  Alle- 
ghany River,  and  was  courteously  treated,  but  was  not  allowed  to  sur- 
vey. An  attempt  to  erect  a  stockade  on  the  Monongahela  was  made 
by  the  British  in  February,  1754,  six  months  after  Washington's  visit, 
but  Captain  Contrecoeur  attacked  them  with  a  superior  force  and  drove 
them  out  of  the  region.  Fort  Du  Quesne  was  then  made  a  place  of 
considerable  strength,  and  when  it  was  finished  the  French  had  sixty 
strongholds,  mostly  blockhouses,  between  Quebec  and  the  Gulf  of 

The  next  step  in  the  wars  was  the  forcible  removal  by  the  English 
of  the  Acadians  who  had  settled  in  Nova  Scotia  and  New  Brunswick  in 
1754.  Those  who  refused  to  swear  allegiance  to  the  English  crown, 
7,000  in  number,  were  scattered  all  over  the  country,  and  their  farms 
were  laid  waste.  This  event  gave  the  foundation  for  Longfellow's 
poem,  Evangeline.  In  the  following  year  General  Braddock  set  out 
from  Virginia  with  the  greatest  army  of  British  troops  which  ever 
crossed  the  Alleghanies,  to  capture  Fort  Du  Quesne.  The  story  of  his 
disastrous  defeat  on  July  9,  1755,  and  the  rescue  of  the  remnant  of  his 
force  by  Washington,  who  was  then  but  twenty  three  years  of  age,  is 
familiar  to  all  the  world.  Three  years  later  Washington  accompanied 
an  expedition  under  General  Forbes,  to  Fort  Du  Quesne  and  compelled 
the  French  to  abandon  it. 

At  this  period,  1756,  a  new  commander  appeared  at  Montreal  who 
was  so  active  and  successful  that  he  threatened  to  drive  the  British  out 
of  New  York.  Louis  Joseph  de  St.  Verain  Montcalm,  then  forty-four 
years  old,  had  won  the  rank  of  colonel  in  the  battle  of  Piacenza,  in  the 
war  for  the  Austrian  succession.  He  was  regarded  as  an  able  com- 
mander, so  able  that  his  government  expected  him  to  win  with  undis- 
ciplined Canadian  farmers,  aided  by  the  Indians.  He  arrived  at  Quebec 
in  May,  1756,  and  captured  Fort  Ontario  at  Oswego,  August  14.  Next 
year  he  captured  Fort  William  Henry  at  the  head  of  Lake  George, 
which  was  held  by  a  garrison  of  2,500  men  and  defended  by  forty-two 
cannon.     The  half-famished  Frenchmen  and  Indians,  who  had  lived  by 


the  chase  during  the  siege,  were  very  glad  to  get  the  provisions  in  the 
stores.  Montcalm  then  fortified  Fort  Carillon,  or  Ticonderoga,  in  the 
passage  between  Lake  Champlain  and  Lake  George.  Next  year  Gen- 
eral Abercrombie  marched  against  him  with  an  army  of  15,000  men, 
and  tried  to  take  the  fort  by  assault.  Montcalm  had  but  3,600  men, 
but  after  four  hours  of  fierce  fighting,  the  British  fled  in  disorder.  In- 
stead of  supplying  this  brilliant  commander  with  a  reasonable  force  of 
men,  and  enabling  him  to  go  on  with  his  campaign,  the  French  gov- 
ernment treated  him  with  neglect.  But  a  handful  of  men  could  be  left 
to  defend  the  forts  already  taken,  while  Montcalm  retired  to  make 
ready  at  Quebec  for  a  siege  which  was  preparing  against  it. 

Then  the  kaleidoscope  of  national  politics  took  another  turn  which 
completely  altered  the  conditions  between  France  and  England.  France 
was  hampered  in  her  colonial  advancement  by  Nicholas  Fouquet,  her 
minister  of  finance.  Instead  of  employing  the  national  funds  where 
they  were  imperatively  demanded,  he  applied  them  to  the  furtherance 
of  his  own  schemes,  in  the  mean  time  spending  18,000,000  livres  on  his 
private  residence. 


Rise  of  William  Pitt  in  England — His  Aggressive  Territorial  Policy  Culminates 
in  a  Border  War — The  French  are  Beaten  at  Every  Point — Quebec,  Montreal,  De- 
troit and  Du  Quesne  Surrendered  to  the  British— 1755-1760. 

In  England  one  of  the  greatest  and  most  brilliant  statesmen  of  her 
history  was  waiting  for  recognition.  William  Pitt  had  successfully  op- 
posed the  policy  of  Walpole,  and  gained  so  much  popularity  with  the 
people  that  George  II  hated  him  beyond  endurance,  and  in  order  to  get 
him  out  of  parliament  made  him  joint  vice-treasurer  for  Ireland  and 
paymaster  in  the  army.  Lord  Pelham,  the  prime  minister,  wanted  him 
for  secretary  of  state,  but  the  king  would  not  allow  it.  Subsequently 
the  cabinet  appointed  him  to  that  office,  but  the  king  dismissed  him. 
Affairs  in  America  and  other  quarters  were  going  to  the  dogs  and  the 
people  compelled  the  king  to  accept  Pitt  as  secretary  of  state  in  1 757. 
In  a  short  time  his  talents  made  him  virtually  prime  minister.  From 
that  moment  the  fortunes  of  England  changed.      Pitt  outlined  a  vigor- 



ons  policy  for  the  prosecution  of  the  war  in  America,  resolving-  to  save 
the  colonies  at  all  hazards  and  to  drive  the  French  out  of  the  North. 
He  planned  to  send  General  Amherst  to  the  capture  of  Ticonderoga 
and  Crown  Point,  and  then  Amherst  was  to  proceed  down  Lake  Cham- 
plain  to  join  General  Wolfe  at  Quebec  and  lay  siege  to  that  stronghold. 

General  Prideaux  was  sent  against  the  fort  at  Niagara,  and  after  cap- 
turing it  he  too  was  to  join  the  Quebec  expedition.  Pitt  knew  that  the 
French  garrisons  were  weak  in  numbers  and  poorly  provisioned,  but 
he  did  not  appreciate  the  difficulties  involved  in  long  marches  through 
the  wilderness. 

In  July,  1759,  General  Prideaux  arrived  at  Niagara,  where  he  found 
that  the  French  garrison  was  about  to  be  reinforced  from  the  fort  at 
Presque  Isle,  now  Erie;  from  Fort  Venango,  on  Oil  Creek,  Pa.,  and 
from  Detroit.  At  the  first  attempt  against  the  fort  General  Prideaux 
was  instantly  killed  by  the  bursting  of  a  gun.  Sir  William  Johnson, 
who  was  to  be  a  figure  of  some  importance  in  the  history  of  Detroit  in 
after  years,  succeeded  to  the  command.  The  reinforcements  were 
routed  before  they  could  join  the  garrison,  and  Fort  Niagara  surren- 
dered with  six  hundred  men,  the  prisoners  being  sent  to  New  York. 
Sir  William  remained  at  the  fort  and  did  not  attempt  to  join  Wolfe. 
General  Amherst  captured  the  two  forts  on  Lake  Champlain  and  then 
went  into  winter  quarters  at  Crown  Point. 

Gen.  James  Wolfe  was  a  young  man  of  thirty-two  years,  son  of 
Colonel  Wolfe,  who  had  fought  under  Marlborough.  He  had  seen 
service  at  Dettingen,  Fontenoy  and  La  Feldt,  and  his  soldierly  gifts 
won  Pitt's  favor.  Though  inexperienced  as  a  commander,  he  was 
selected  to  head  an  expedition  of  8,000  trained  regulars,  which  sailed 
from  England  February  17,  1759,  and  Generals  Monckton,  Townshend 
and  Murray  were  his  brigade  commanders.  He  arrived  before  Quebec 
June  26,  1759,  and  while  waiting  for  Amherst  and  Prideaux  to  join 
him,  made  a  careful  reconnoissance  of  the  citadel.  He  found  it  a  place 
of  considerable  strength,  built  at  the  extremity  of  a  tongue  of  high  land 
which  formed  one  bank  of  the  river.  The  fort  was  a  promontory, 
rising  335  feet  above  the  river.  Its  cannon  commanded  the  lowlands 
forming  the  natural  approach,  and  the  only  apparent  approach  for 
attack  on  the  level  was  from  far  up  the  river.  On  the  opposite  shore 
of  the  stream  is  a  commanding  position  called  Point  Levis,  and  there 
Wolfe  planted  batteries  to  cover  assaults  on  the  height.  The  space  ad- 
joining the  fort  was  a  plain  of  about  fifty  acres  called  the  Heights  of 



Abraham.  Monckton  was  placed  in  charge  of  the  batteries  at  Point 
Levis  and  a  bombardment  was  begun,  but  the  limited  range  and  small 
calibre  of  his  cannon  made  the  attempt  useless.  Discouraged  with 
waiting  for  reinforcements,  Wolfe  ordered  an  assault  up  the  slope  from 
Lower  Town  by  his  grenadiers,  but  they  were  repulsed  with  consider- 
able loss,  and  an  attack  from  the  lower  level  was  found  to  be  imprac- 
ticable with  the  force  at  his  command. 

Wolfe  was  a  nervous  man,  of  delicate  constitution,  and  the  failure 
threw  him  into  a  fever,  but  he  would  not  abandon  his  duty.  Counsel- 
ing with  his  generals,  he  resolved  to  try  a  night  attack  by  sending  his 
best  regiment,  Eraser's  Highlanders,  to  scale  the  precipice  of  more 
than  three  hundred  feet  in  order  to  secure  a  footing  on  the  level  with 
the  French.  Several  bateaux  loaded  with  men  were  sent  up  the  river, 
and  Montcalm,  suspecting  the  design  of  his  enemy,  sent  Colonel  de 
Bougainville  with  1,500  men  to  Point  Rouge,  nine  miles  up  the  river, 
to  repel  an  attack  at  what  was  supposed  to  be  the  nearest  vulnerable 
point.  On  the  night  of  September  13  boats  from  the  British  fleet 
brought  a  force  of  men  under  the  precipice. 

"  Qui  vive?  "  cried  a  sentinel  from  the  heights  above. 

"France,"  answered  a  Scottish  officer  who  could  speak  French. 

"  Quel  regiment?  " 

"  De  la  Reine,"  replied  the  officer. 

The  sentinel  was  satisfied  and  did  not  ask  for  the  countersign,  as  a 
French  convoy  of  provisions  was  expected  from  above.  In  a  few  min- 
utes the  boats  landed,  and  Wolfe  and  Fraser's  Highlanders  climbed  up 
the  dark  heights,  clinging  to  the  bushes  and  to  crevices  in  the  rocks. 
The  greatest  precautions  were  observed  to  avoid  giving  an  alarm,  and  the 
guns  and  accoutrements  were  hauled  up  by  cords  after  a  number  of 
men  had  gained  the  summit.  At  daybreak  the  sentinels  of  the  citadel 
were  astonished  to  find  a  strong  force  of  British  soldiers  on  the  plateau 
ready  for  battle.  They  were  dirty  and  ragged  from  their  long  scram- 
ble up  the  sides  of  the  cliff,  but  they  were  grim  and  determined.  All 
was  confusion  in  a  moment.  Fearing  an  immediate  attack,  and  sus- 
pecting that  the  whole  British  army  was  upon  him,  Montcalm  hurried 
out  a  skirmishing  party  to  hold  the  enemy  in  check  until  his  main  body 
could  form  for  a  charge.  The  skirmish  line  straggled  toward  the  line 
of  Highlanders  and  began  a  scattered  firing,  which  produced  little  ef- 
fect. Then  Montcalm  mustered  his  scanty  and  ill-fed  force  for  an  as- 
sault to  repel  the  invaders.      Where  was  de  Bougainville  now?     The 


clever  fighter  with  his  1,500  musketeers  would  be  worth  an  empire.  A 
dust  cloud  five  miles  away  showed  where  they  were  hurriedly  tramping 
back  to  the  citadel,  having  found  that  the  movement  of  the  British  up 
the  river  had  been  but  a  ruse.  The  column  of  French  soldiers  filed  out 
of  the  citadel  and  formed  in  line  of  battle,  then  marched  toward  the 
line  of  red  coats.  In  front  on  horseback  came  the  bronzed  figure, 
Montcalm,  the  hero  of  many  fights.  He  was  taken  at  a  disadvantage, 
but  his  eagle  eye  sparkled  with  the  light  of  battle,  and  his  fierce  mous- 
tache bristled  with  impetuous  rage.  Opposed  to  him  was  a  thin,  red 
line  of  men  whose  valor  was  unquestioned.  They  must  hold  their  ground 
or  die  in  the  attempt.  Pale,  slender  and  beardless  stood  the  gallant 
Wolfe,  the  ghastly  pallor  of  his  face  relieved  by  the  flush  of  the  fever 
which  still  racked  his  bones.  He  knew  that  he  had  been  selected  for 
this  important  task  by  Pitt  against  the  advice  of  other  statesmen ;  and 
he  was  there  to  defend  the  honor  of  England  and  the  judgment  of  his 
friend  and  patron. 

"  Hold  your  fire,  my  boys,  until  I  give  the  word.  Don't  waste  a 
single  shot.      Stand  firm  for  Old  England  and  the  victory  is  ours." 

The  voice  of  the  young  commander  went  down  the  line,  and  at  his 
inspiring  words  every  man  nerved  himself  for  the  death  struggle. 
Montcalm  realized  that  the  first  onset  would  decide  the  fortune  of  the 
day,  and  his  men  were  also  directed  to  hold  their  fire.  On  came  the 
French  at  a  jog  trot,  while  the  Highlanders  stood  silent  and  grim. 
There  was  a  nervous  fingering  of  firelocks  as  the  French  came  within 
one  hundred  yards,  and  every  eye  was  on  the  young  general,  eager  for 
the  word.  On  came  the  French  without  faltering,  and  all  the  time  the 
muskets  of  the  skirmishers  were  popping.  A  few  of  the  red  coats 
went  down  and  others  stood  in  line  with  widening  blotches  of  blood 
staining  their  uniforms.  Fifty  yards  separated  the  two  lines  and 
a  few  more  strides  would  bring  them  into  collision.  The  sword  of 
Wolfe  was  raised  high  above  his  head  as  the  word  "  Ready  "  came  like 
a  trumpet  note  from  his  lips.  Down  flashed  the  gleaming  sword;  the 
command  "Fire"  rang  out;  a  double  roll  of  musketry  with  its  flashes 
of  fire  and  singing  of  bullets  ran  along  both  lines.  The  commands 
had  been  obeyed  by  both  bodies  of  troops  and  both  were  swept  by 
deadly  volleys  at  the  same  instant. 

Wolfe  received  three  musket  balls  in  his  body,  and  sank  with  a  mor- 
tal wound  that  threw  his  weight  upon  the  nearest  Highlander's  shoul- 


"  Hold  me  up,"  he  whispered,  "don't  let  my  brave  boys  see  me  fall 
Forward!  charge  them,  boys." 

"They  run!     See  how  they  run,"  cried  a  voice. 

"Who  run?"  asked  Wolfe. 

"The  enemy,  sir,  give  way  everywhere  " 

"Go  one  of  you  to  Colonel  Burton,"  directed  the  dying  man;  "tell 
him  to  march  Webb's  regiment  down  to  Charles  River  to  cut  off  their 
retreat  by  the  bridge." 

Then  turning  on  his  side  he  murmured:  "Now  God  be  praised,  I 
will  die  in  peace;"  and  in  a  few  minutes  he  drew  his  last  breath. 

Montcalm  on  horseback  was  driven  by  the  rush  of  fugitives  into  the 
town.  As  he  approached  the  walls  he  was  shot  through  the  body. 
When  he  was  told  that  he  would  die  he  said:  "  So  much  the  better;  I 
shall  not  live  to  see  the  surrender  of  Quebec." 

The  great  stronghold  of  the  St.  Lawrence  had  fallen  and  thus  Can- 
ada and  the  Northwest  virtually  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  British  on 
September  13,  1759,  although  the  capitulation  of  Montreal  and  the 
formal  surrender  of  all  Canada  did  not  take  place  until  the  following 
year,  when  Montreal  surrendered  September  8,  1760. 

This  blow  must  have  paralyzed  the  remnant  of  the  French  govern- 
ment, for  information  was  not  forwarded  to  Detroit.  Commandant 
Bellestre  was  holding  himself  in  readiness  to  obey  commands  or  to 
repel  invaders  when  Major  Robert  Rogers  appeared  at  the  mouth  of 
Detroit  River  with  a  portion  of  the  Royal  American  Regiment,  made  up 
of  British  colonists  and  a  portion  of  the  Eightieth  Regiment.  Bellestre 
was  an  able  commander,  and  in  consequence  of  the  activity  of  the 
British,  who  were  pressing  the  French  posts  in  the  east,  had  succeeded 
in  massing  a  strong  force  at  Fort  Pontchartrain,  and  had  accumulated  a 
quantity  of  military  stores  to  be  available  for  strengthening  the  sta- 
tions farther  east  whenever  they  were  menaced.  The  fall  of  Louis- 
burg,  Fort  Frontenac,  Niagara,  Du  Quesne  and  Quebec  must  have 
been  the  occasion  of  much  discussion  at  Detroit  in  those  last  days,  but 
still  the  commandant  appeared  to  think  his  government  was  secure. 
Major  Rogers  came  from  Niagara,  part  of  his  force  coming  in  bateaux, 
which  also  carried  supplies  for  the  fort,  while  the  remainder  marched 
along  the  south  shore  of  Lake  Erie,  driving  a  small  herd  of  cattle  with 
them.  They  camped  one  night  near  the  Cuyahoga  River,  when  a 
number  of  Indian  chiefs  entered  their  camp.  The  leader  of  the  dele- 
gation was  Pontiac,  the  head  of  the  Ottawa  tribe.  He  was  stern  and 
bold  in  demeanor. 


"How  is  it  you  have  come  into  my  territory  without  invitation  or 
permission?     Is  your  business  peace  or  war?"  he  asked. 

"I  have  come  in  the  name  of  the  great  king  of  England  to  take 
possession  of  Detroit,"  replied  Rogers. 

"This  is  my  country;  it  does  not  belong  to  the  great  king;  my  peo- 
ple control  all  the  country  of  the  lakes,"  replied  Pontiac. 

"We  do  not  want  your  lands  or  your  hunting  grounds,"  said 
Rogers,  "We  want  to  trade  with  you  as  we  trade  with  the  Iroquois 
in  the  East.  We  give  better  trade  for  furs  than  the  French.  We  have 
conquered  the  French  and  I  have  the  submission  of  their  governor  at 
Quebec.  When  we  have  taken  possession  at  Detroit,  you  will  be  glad 
and  all  your  people  will  come  to  trade  with  the  English,  who  do  not 
cheat  them  as  the  French  have  done." 

Pontiac  stood  eyeing  the  major  keenly  for  a  time.      Then  he  said: 

"  I  will  stand  in  your  path  until  morning  and  will  protect  you  from 
harm;  at  daylight  you  may  proceed  safely  on  your  way." 

The  proud  savage  gathered  his  blanket  about  his  shoulders  and 
stalked  into  the  gloom  of  the  November  night.  He  made  no  servile 
surrender,  but  had  placed  the  invading  force  under  his  protection,  as  if 
he  had  been  commander  of  a  superior  army. 

When  the  British  soldiers  were  approaching  Detroit,  the  Indian  run- 
ners brought  in  word  that  the  French  were  to  be  turned  away.  Bel- 
lestre  drew  a  rude  picture  of  a  crow  eating  from  the  top  of  a  man's 
head,  hung  it  at  the  gate  of  the  fort,  and  told  the  Indians  that  he  was 
the  crow  and  that  he  would  presently  pick  out  the  brains  of  the  Eng- 
lish soldiers.  The  Indians  doubted  it  and  waited.  Rogers  sent  to  the 
French  commandant  a  report  of  the  surrender,  and  made  a  formal 
demand  for  the  possession  of  the  fort.  At  first  Bellestre  thought  a 
trick  was  being  attempted,  and  he  asked  time  to  consider.  It  was 
granted  and  indubitable  evidence  was  furnished  in  the  correspondence 
that  followed  to  show  that  French  rule  was  at  an  end  in  the  North,  and 
so  the  truth  came  at  last  to  Picote  de  Bellestre,  a  brave  soldier  of  ex- 
cellent family,  who  had  been  made  a  knight  of  St.  Louis  for  military 
prowess.  He  called  his  garrison  to  an  assembly  and  gave  public 
notice  that  New  France  had  been  turned  over  to  the  British  crown. 
With  rolling  drum  and  proper  military  salute,  the  standard  of  France 
was  hauled  down  from  the  staff  where  it  had  waved  for  fifty-nine 
years,  and  the  garrison  marched  out  the  gates  of  the  fort.  The 
British  marched  in  with  flying  colors  and  beating  drums,  and  the  royal 


standard  of  Great  Britain  was  flung  to  the  breeze  with  rousing  cheers. 
The  placard  was  thrown  down  and  the  Indians  transferred  their  alle- 
giance from  the  vanquished  to  the  victors,  and  greeted  the  discomfited 
commandant  with  yells  of  derision.  A  new  regime  was  installed  which 
was  believed  to  be  perpetual,  but  thirty-six  years  later  the  British  were 
destined  to  march  out  as  the  French  had  done,  leaving  all  the  country 
south  and  west  of  the  great  lakes  to  the  possession  of  a  nation  which 
was  to  rise  from  the  soil  of  the  new  world. 

The  French  waited  until  the  war  of  the  Revolution  for  their  revenge. 
At  the  time  of  the  surrender  of  Detroit  Count  de  Vergennes  made  a 
prophecy  which  commanded  little  attention  at  the  time.  "This  triumph 
will  be  fatal  to  England  "  said  he;  "  the  colonies  are  now  able  to  pro- 
tect themselves  without  aid  from  the  home  government;  their  ability 
to  take  care  of  themselves  will  make  them  headstrong;  they  will  pres- 
ently refuse  to  contribute  toward  the  expenses  of  the  home  government, 
and  v/hen  England  attempts  to  coerce  them  they  will  surely  strike  for 
their  independence. "  Sixteen  years  later  his  prophecy  came  to  pass, 
and  when  the  war  was  wavering  in  the  balance,  and  the  case  of  the  col- 
onists appeared  hopeless,  France  sent  La  Fayette,  De  Grasse  and  other 
leaders,  with  ships  and  troops  to  help  the  colonists  win  their  indepen- 

By  these  brilliant  and  substantial  victories  over  the  French  Great 
Britain  won  the  whole  of  Canada  and  the  Northwest  and  the  cession 
was  formally  made  by  the  treaty  of  Paris  in  1763. 

Commenting  on  this  momentous  event  John  Fiske  says:  "  It  maybe 
said  of  the  treaty  of  Paris  that  no  other  treaty  ever  transferred  such  an 
immense  portion  of  the  earth's  surface  from  one  nation  to  another. 
But  such  a  statement,  after  all,  gives  no  adequate  idea  of  the  enormous 
results  which  the  genesisof  English  liberty  had  for  ages  been  preparing, 
and  which  had  now  found  definite  expression  in  the  policy  of  the  English 
prime  minister,  William  Pitt.  The  10th  of  February,  1763,  might  not 
unfitly  be  celebrated  as  the  proudest  day  in  the  history  of  England ;  for 
on  that  day  it  was  made  clear — had  any  one  eyes  to  discern  the  future 
and  read  between  the  lines  of  this  portentous  treaty — that  she  was 
destined  to  become  the  revered  mother  of  many  free  and  enlightened 
nations,  all  speaking  the  matchless  language  which  the  English  Bible 
has  forever  consecrated,  and  earnest  in  carrying  out  the  sacred  ideas  for 
which  Latimer  suffered  and  Hampden  fought.  It  was  proclaimed  on 
that  day  that  the  institutions  of  the  Roman  empire,  however  useful  in 


their  time,  were  at  last  outgrown  and  superseded,  and  that  the  guidance 
of  the  world  was  henceforth  to  be,  not  in  the  hands  of  imperial  bureaus 
or  papal  conclaves,  but  in  the  hands  of  honest  labor  and  the  preachers 
of  righteousness,  unhampered  by  ritual  or  dogma.  The  independence 
of  the  United  States  was  the  first  great  lesson  which  was  drawn  from 
this  solemn  proclamation.  Our  own  history  to-day  is  the  first  extended 
commentary  which  is  gradually  unfolding  to  men's  minds  the  latest 
significance  of  the  compact  by  which  the  vanquished  old  regime  of 
France  renounced  its  pretensions  to  guide  the  world." 

But  Detroit  and  Michigan  had  to  pass  through  many  trials  and 
bloody  experiences  before  she  reached  the  goal  of  human  freedom.  An 
isolated  trading  post  on  the  borders  of  civilization,  her  importance  was 
either  forgotten  or  ignored  amid  the  pressing  concerns  of  other  and 
more  important  centers  of  civilization,  and  it  was  not  until  thirteen 
years  after  the  Revolution  had  been  fought  and  won  that  she  was 
allowed  to  become  an  integral  portion  of  the  great  American  republic. 


During  the  fifty-nine  years  of  the  French  regime  in  Detroit  the  post 
at  Fort  Pontchartrain  was  presided  over  by  eighteen  different  com- 
mandants and  the  rule  was  divided  into  twenty-four  terms.  Cadillac 
expected  to  be  the  permanent  commandant  when  the  post  was  estab- 
lished, and  he  hoped  to  enjoy  all  the  benefits  of  trading,  rents  and  seig- 
norial  dues  while  he  built  up  a  populous  colony  about  him.  His  hopes 
were  dashed,  and  then  the  office  of  commandant  became  a  rotating  po- 
litical preferment  with  which  the  governors  general  could  reward  their 
friends  and  favorites. 

From  1701  to  1704  Antoine  de  La  Mothe  Cadillac  ruled.  While  he 
was  absent  and  on  trial  for  alleged  malfeasance  in  office,  his  companion 
and  second  in  command,  Alphonse  de  Tonty,  was  in  charge  from  Sep- 
tember until  February,  while  Lieut.  August  de  Bourgmont  was  making 
his  way  from  Montreal. 

Bourgmont  remained  until  Cadillac  was  sent  back  to  settle  the  In- 
dian trouble  in  1706,  and  from  that  time  the  original  commandant  re- 
mained at  the  post  until  1711,  although  he  was  relieved  of  command  in 
the  fall  of  1710  by  Joseph  Guyon  Dubuisson,  who  brought  his  appoint- 
ment as  governor  of  Louisiana. 

Dubuisson  remained  in  charge  from  the  fall  of  1710  until  the  fall  of 
1712,    when    the    regularly   appointed    successor  of    Cadillac,    Francis 


Dauphine  de  la  Forest  had  recovered  from  an  illness  and  was  able  to 
take  command  in  person. 

Two  years  later  La  Forest  was  deposed,  because  of  his  infirmities, 
and  in  1714,  Jacques  Charles  Sabrevois  came  to  act  as  commandant. 
At  this  time  it  was  decided  that  the  term  of  a  commandant  should  be 
three  years  or  during  good  behavior. 

Sabrevois's  term  appears  to  have  been  uneventful  and  he  was  relieved 
in  1717  by  Henry  Tonty,  son  of  old   "  Bras  de  Fer"  (Iron  Hand). 

Tonty,  it  would  appear,  was  but  a  commandant  pro  tern,  until  the 
appointee,  Sieur  Francois  de  Louvigny,  should  arrive  two  months  later. 
Louvigny  remained  for  three  years  and  in  1720  was  relieved  by  the 
appointment  of  Charles  Joseph  de  Noyelle. 

Noyelle's  term  was  limited  to  a  few  months  and  then  the  audacious 
and  unscrupulous  trickster,  Alphonse  de  Tonty,  whose  fingers  had  long 
been  itching  for  a  chance  at  the  revenues  of  the  post,  was  appointed 
commandant.  So  well  did  Tonty  pull  his  political  wires  that  in  spite  of 
flagrant  abuses  against  the  government  and  in  spite  of  the  protests  of 
the  residents  at  the  post,  he  remained  in  power  for  seven  years  through 
his  influence  with  Governors  Vaudreuil,  Longueuil  and  de  Beauharnois 
successively.     He  died  at  Detroit  in  1727. 

M.  Joseph  Le  Pernouche  was  made  temporary  commandant  and  served 
nearly  a  year. 

In  1728  Jean  Baptiste  Deschaillions  de  St.  Ours,  a  captain  in  the 
French  army  at  Quebec,  was  sent  to  Detroit.  St.  Ours  was  probably 
better  fitted  for  the  duties  of  a  soldier  than  for  those  of  a  civil  ruler, 
for  he  was  relieved  after  eight  months  by  M.  de  Boishebert. 

Boishebert  was  a  very  able  man  and  remained  in  office  for  two  full 
terms.  Hughes  Jacques  Pean  de  Livandiere  came  next  in  1734,  but 
he  inaugurated  a  policy  of  plunder  and  was  soon  deposed. 

Lieutenant  Sabrevois  had  been  promoted  to  a  captaincy,  and  he  came 
again  in  1734  and  served  nearly  four  years. 

Chailes  Joseph  de  Noyelle  was  given  a  second  term  in  1738. 

Pierre  Poyen  de  Noyan  followed  in  1741,  and  was  relieved  in  1742  by 
Pierre  de  Celeron  de  Bienville. 

Celeron  retired  in  1743,  and  Joseph  Le  Moyne,  Sieur  de  Longueuil, 
came  for  two  successive  terms  which  terminated  in  1749. 

The  now  aged  Charles  Jacques  Sabrevois  relieved  Longueuil  of  his 
command  in  1749,  but  he  retired  in  1751,  when  Pierre  de  Celeron  was 
sent  again  to  the  post. 


JOHN   T.   RICH. 

Celeron  remained  a  full  term  and  was  relieved  by  the  appointment 
of  Jacques  d'Anon,  Sieur  de  Muy.  This  commandant  remained  until 
1758  and  saw  the  closing  in  of  the  great  struggle  which  deprived  the 
French  of  Canada  and  the  Northwest. 

Francois  Marie  Picote  de  Bellestre,  a  man  of  unusual  military  ability 
and  great  energy,  was  the  last  commandant  of  the  French  at  Detroit. 
He  came  in  1758  and  directed  the  provisioning  and  reinforcing  of  the 
posts  south  of  Lake  Erie  during  the  war  with  the  British,  but  he  was 
compelled  to  surrender  Detroit  to  the  British  in  1760. 

In  the  foregoing  relation  of  the  French  efforts  to  extend  the  sov- 
ereignty of  that  country  in  America,  it  will  be  seen  that  they  were  not 
good  colonizers,  and  in  this  respect  were  very  much  inferior  to  their 
British  rivals.  The  French  sought  to  perpetuate  in  the  western  wilds 
the  same  feudal  systems  that  obtained  in  Normandy  and  Languedoc, 
the  vital  defect  of  which  was  that  tracts  of  land  and  trade  monopolies 
were  bestowed  upon  the  few,  thus  compelling  the  many  to  labor  and 
pay  tribute,  and  remain  is  hopeless  semi  servitude.  The  vast  domain 
of  New  France,  which  might  have  blossomed  as  a  rose  under  liberal 
disposition  of  the  lands  to  farmers  and  settlers,  practically  remained  a 
wilderness  at  the  expiration  of  148  years  of  French  rule.  As  late  as 
1734  the  entire  population  of  New  France  was  only  34,516.  In  1760, 
when  it  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  British,  it  was  probably  not  more 
than  40,000. 

Between  the  years  1612  and  1760  twenty  five  French  governors  ruled 
over  New  France  from  Quebec.     They  were : 

1612-1635 — Samuel  de  Champlain. 

1635-1636— Marc  Antoine  de  Chateaufort. 

1636-1648— Charles  Huoult  de  Montmagny. 

1648-1651 — Louis  d'Aillebout  de  Coulonges. 

1651-1656— Jean  de  Lauson. 

1656 — Charles  de  Lauson-Charnay. 

1657 — Louis  d'Aillebout  de  Coulonges  (second  term). 

1658-1661 — Pierre  de  Voyer,  Viscount  d'Argenson. 

1661-1663 — Pierre  du  Bois,  Baron  d'Avangour. 

1663 — Chevalier  Augustin  de  Saffrey-Mesy. 

1663-1665 — Alexandre  de  Prouville,  Marquis  de  Tracey. 

1665-1672— ChevaHer  Daniel  Remey  de  Courcelles. 

1672-1682 — Louis  de  Buade,  Count  de  Pelluanet  de  Frontenac. 

1682-1685— Antoine  Joseph  le  Febre  de  la  Barre. 


1085-1689 — Jacques  Rene  de  Brissy,  Marquis  Denonville. 

1689-1099 — Count  Frontenac  (second  term). 

1099-1703 — Chevalier  Louis  Hector  de  Callieres. 

1703-1725 — Philip  Rigaud,  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil. 

1735-1726 — Charles  de  le  Moyne,  Baron  de  Longueuil. 

1726-1747 — Charles,  Marquis  de  Beauharnois. 

1747-1749 — Roland  Michel  Barriu,  Count  de  Gallissoniere. 

1749-1752 — Jacques  Pierre  de  Taffanel,  Marquis  de  la  Jonquiere. 

1752 — Charles  de  le  Moyne,  Baron  de  Longueuil  (second  term). 

1752-1755 — Marquis  Duquesne  de  Menneville. 

1755-1760 — Pierre  Francois,  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil-Casagnal. 


The  British  Take  Possession  of  Detroit — Pontiac  Demands  Recognition  of  Them 
— The  Indians  Prefer  Frenchmen  Who  Treat  Them  as  Equals — They  Show  an  In- 
clination to  Attack  the  Newcomers — 1760. 

There  was  naturally  great  rejoicing  among  the  New  York  and  New 
England  settlers  over  the  great  triumph  of  the  British,  for  the  trouble 
with  the  French  was  at  an  end  and  it  was  believed  that  the  Indian 
wars  would  also  cease.  The  war  with  the  French  was  at  an  end  on  the 
continent,  although  it  continued  until  1763  on  the  sea,  and  the  settlers 
were  still  in  the  midst  of  perils  at  the  hands  of  the  Indians.  As  has 
been  shown  in  the  foregoing  pages,  the  American  Indians  had  been 
generally  divided  into  two  opposing  factions,  one  fighting  the  battles  of 
the  French,  the  other  the  battles  of  the  British.  Now  that  strife  was 
apparently  at  an  end.  The  French  no  longer  fought  their  conquerors, 
but  they  were  smarting  under  defeat,  and  in  revenge  they  worked  upon 
the  prejudices  of  the  savages.  The  British  were  not  as  congenial  with 
the  Indians  as  the  French  had  been,  because  they  treated  them  as  in- 
feriors, and  it  soon  became  apparant  that  the  contest  between  two  na- 
tions for  territory  had  given  place  to  a  contest  between  the  British  and 
the  Indians.  This  tended  to  unite  the  heretofore  unreconcilable  Iro- 
quois and  Algonquins  against  what  was  now  their  common  enemy 
By  the  terms  of  settlement  those  of  the  French  colonists  who  chose 
could   remain   in   the   colony   and  retain  most  of  their  former  rights- 


those  who  chose  to  leave  could  do  so  by  disposing  of  their  property 
under  the  approval  of  the  British  commandant.  Several  who  had  aided 
the  Indians  in  the  siege  of  Detroit  were  severely  punished,  but  most  of 
those  who  had  been  in  open  hostility  escaped  to  St.  Louis,  on  Peoria 
Lake,  in  what  is  now  Illinois,  then  part  of  Louisiana.  Ten  years  be- 
fore the  surrender  the  Chevalier  Repentigny  had  obtained  a  grant  of 
seigniory  over  lands  near  Sault  Ste.  Marie,  and  had  erected  a  fort  and 
several  houses  inside  his  stockade,  but  upon  the  surrender  he  aban- 
doned his  land  and  returned  to  France.  Lieutenant  Jamette  was  sent 
to  take  possession  of  Sault  Ste.  Marie,  but  for  some  time  after  the  Brit- 
ish had  become  masters  of  the  country  the  island  of  Mackinac  was 
abandoned  to  the  Chippewas,  who  had  a  village  there.  When  Com- 
mandant Bellestre  had  been  escorted  by  British  soldiers  away  toward 
the  sea,  there  remained  of  the  settlement  at  Detroit  about  300  dwell- 
ings and  perhaps  2,000  inhabitants.  This  was  the  estimate  of  Major 
Rogers,  who  received  the  surrender,  and  it  is  probably  very  nearly  cor- 
rect. The  French  had  fallen  into  the  customs  of  the  Indians,  ,and 
many  families  held  as  slaves  Indian  captives,  whom  they  had  purchased 
from  victorious  warriors.  These  and  a  few  Africans  were  recognized 
as  property  by  the  British,  and  the  owners  retained  possession.  These 
Indian  slaves  were  captives  who  had  been  brought  from  the  South  and 
Southwest  by  victorious  war  parties,  and  so  many  of  them  were  Paw- 
nees that  the  name  Pawnee  or  Pani  was  applied  to  all.  They  were  later 
given  their  freedom,  but  some  lived  about  the  settlement  to  the  day  of 
their  deaths,  and  Judge  Burnett,  in  his  "  Notes  on  the  Northwest  States, " 
says  that  the  last  of  the  lot  was  in  the  employ  of  Judge  Woodbridge. 
The  French  settlers  at  Detroit  were  well  treated  and  professed  to  be 
grateful  for  the  change.  They  had  endured  great  privations  during 
the  preceding  seven  years,  as  all  the  government  appropriations  had 
gone  to  strengthen  the  two  cities  on  the  St.  Lawrence,  and  even  those 
had  been  but  meagerly  maintained. 

In  a  letter  written  November  2,  1760,  by  Captain  Donald  Campbell, 
the  first  British  commandant,  to  his  superior,  Colonel  Boquet,  who  was 
stationed  at  Presque  Isle  (Erie),  he  says:  "We  experienced  some  bad 
weather  on  the  lake  during  our  voyage  to  this  place  and  lost  one  man 
overboard.  Our  ammunition  was  considerably  damaged,  so  that  we 
are  in  immediate  need  of  more.  Mr.  Navarre,  the  civil  officer  of  the 
post,  will  continue  in  his  old  capacity  until  he  can  teach  his  successor 
the  duties  of  his  office.     We  find  the  fort  badly  off  for  all  supplies  and 


the  inhabitants  in  sore  distress.  T\\e  stockade  is  one  of  the  best  I  have 
ever  seen;  but  we  must  have  food  and  ammunition,  and  I  fear  it  will 
be  a  hard  matter  to  bring  them  by  water  at  this  time  of  the  year."  In 
another  letter  written  December  11,  1760,  he  says:  "I  am  greatly 
obliged  for  the  flour  you  sent.  It  was  twenty  three  days  on  the  way 
and  somewhat  damaged.  The  ammunition  came  safely.  Captain  Waite 
brought  with  him  thirty-three  barrels  of  pork  (all  Major  Walters  could 
spare  him)  and  it  will  be  a  great  relief.  We  have  also  eleven  bullocks. 
M.  Navarre,  a  most  excellent  man,  has  undertaken  to  furnish  us  with 
20,000  pounds  of  flour,  100  bushels  of  peas  and  100  bushels  of  corn 
We  pay  the  same  rate  as  the  French  king  allowed  for  flour,  fifty  shillings 
per  hundred  weight.  Indians  are  furnishing  venison  at  a  moderate 
price.  Major  Rogers  has  about  stripped  us  in  supplying  the  adjoining 
posts  [at  Maumee  and  Sandusky],  Owing  to  the  scarcity  of  food  the 
commander  at  Mackinaw  has  been  obliged  to  take  his  men  to  winter 
among  the  Indians.  Lieutenant  Butler  and  his  rangers  are  living  among 
the  Ottawas  at  the  Miami  [Maumee]  post.  At  the  point  where  he  is 
stationed  he  is  but  nine  miles  from  the  Wabash  River.  I  hope  you  will 
encourage  trade  with  Pittsburg,  for  I  cannot  persuade  the  men  to  go 
there  with  their  horses;  they  are  so  accustomed  to  canoes." 

A  new  era  seemed  about  to  dawn.  The  British,  who  have  always 
been  the  most  successful  colonists,  resolved  to  explore  the  interior  of 
the  country  and  open  up  the  lands  for  settlement.  Their  predecessors 
had  looked  for  nothing  but  furs  and  gold  mines,  without  stopping  to 
consider  that  the  agricultural  products  of  the  soil  are  always  more  val- 
uable than  all  other,  taking  everything  in  the  aggregate.  During  the 
three  years  in  which  the  treaty  of  peace  was  pending,  little  was  done. 
The  old  regulations  governing  the  settlements  of  New  France  continued 
in  operation,  but  the  land-lookers  were  abroad  searching  out  the  rich 
prairie  lands,  the  oak  openings  and  the  timbered  areas. 

This  territory  was  under  the  control  of  Sir  William  Johnson  and 
Gen.  Thomas  Gage,  who  were  lieutenants  of  Sir  Jeffrey  Amherst,  gov- 
ernor-general of  the  British  colony.  Although  Major  Rogers  and 
Colonel  Croghan,  who  led  the  British  troops  to  Detroit,  were  his 
superior  officers,  Capt.  Donald  Campbell,  of  the  Royal  American 
Regiment,  was  made  commandant  pending  the  settlement  of  peace. 
The  reason  for  this  choice  does  not  appear.  Croghan  and  Rogers  un- 
dertook to  reconcile  the  Indians  to  the  change  of  government.  Un- 
scrupulous British  traders  flocked  into  the  region  from  which  they  had 


so  long  been  barred,  and  their  methods  were  such  as  to  rouse  the 
latent  hostility  of  the  Indians,  and  drew  upon  them  the  condemnation 
of  those  settlers  who  loved  law  and  order.  If  the  British  ever  had  an 
opportunity  for  winning  the  favor  of  the  Indians,  these  cheating,  law- 
less fellows  would  have  made  it  impossible.  Sir  William  Johnson,  in 
his  reports  made  years  after,  admitted  that  the  savages  had  been  driven 
to  hostility. 

It  needed  but  one  man  of  will  and  intellect,  who  enjoyed  the  con- 
fidence of  the  Indians,  to  unite  all  the  savages  of  the  country  in  a  com- 
mon cause  against  the  white  invaders.  That  man  was  at  hand,  and, 
although  an  untutored  savage,  he  was  still  a  genius  For  many  years 
the  Ottawas  had  made  what  is  now  Walkerville,  Ont.,  their  Detroit 
headquarters.  Their  head  chief  was  Pontiac,  whose  reputation  as  a 
warrior  was  known  to  all  the  Indians  far  and  near.  The  British  did 
not  suspect  that  they  were  opposed  by  a  ver}^  Cambyses  in  military 
daring,  a  man  whose  personal  influence  could  unite  all  his  fellows  into 
a  harmonious  body,  in  spite  of  their  ancient  feuds,  and  plan  a  series  of 
swift  campaigns  which  were  calculated  to  drive  the  invaders  from  every 
frontier  fort.  Other  Indian  chiefs  had  led  bands  of  several  allied 
tribes  on  campaigns,  but  they  were  always  inspired  by  a  single  purpose, 
and  when  that  failed  or  was  accomplished  the  Indians  scattered  in  the 
forest  and  presently  sued  for  peace.  Pontiac  planned  to  exterminate 
the  British  at  Mackinac,  at  Detroit,  at  the  outposts  near  Toledo  and 
Sandusky,  and  all  along  the  frontier,  and  he  sought  to  execute  his 
purpose  by  a  series  of  masterly  stratagems,  which  nothing  but  for- 
tuitous discovery  prevented  from  being  successful.  It  is  common 
practice  for  writers  of  romance  to  tnake  their  Indian  heroes  a  com- 
pound of  Hercules  and  Apollo;  but  Pontiac,  instead  of  being  gigantic 
and  beautiful,  was  a  man  of  medium  size,  with  a  thick  Roman  nose, 
broad  and  high  cheek  bones  and  a  heavy  jaw.  His  eyes  were  large 
and  bold,  and  his  mental  and  physical  activity  were  somewhat  dis- 
guised by  the  stoical  temperament  of  his  race.  His  favorite  summer 
residence  was  on  Peche  Island,  about  three  miles  from  the  Ottawa 
fort  at  Walkerville.  Within  a  short  time  after  the  British  had  taken 
\\X)ssession  General  Gage  learned  that  Pontiac  was  very  active  among 
the  Indians  of  the  North,  and  also  that  he  was  in  constant  communica- 
tion with  some  French  people  who  had  not  accepted  the  issue  of  war 
with  good  grace.  Alexander  Henry,  a  trader  from  the  east,  was  at 
first  refused  a  permit  to  travel  to  Mackinac  for  fear  of  trouble,  but  he 


finally  went,  leaving  Detroit  disguised  as  a  courciir  de  bois.  Henry 
knew  that  he  was  taking  his  life  in  his  hands,  but  traders  of  that  day 
were  so  accustomed  to  peril  that  it  was  only  the  most  imminent  dan- 
gers that  kept  them  in  the  settlements.  Captain  Campbell  was  a 
pleasure  loving  man  of  unsuspicious  temperament.  The  fact  that  the 
British  had  conquered  both  the  French  and  their  Indian  allies  caused 
him  to  hold  the  Indians  alone  in  contempt. 

During  their  residence  at  Detroit  the  various  French  commandants 
had  enlarged  and  strengthened  the  fort,  and  it  now  inclosed  a  space 
372  feet  north  and  south  by  600  feet  east  and  west.  At  each  corner  on 
the  river  front  strong  bastions  commanded  the  approach  to  the  central 
gate,  and  the  north  gate  was  similarly  protected.  A  bastion  also  pro- 
jected from  the  east  side  of  the  fort,  but  the  battery  of  the  place  was  a 
weak  affair  made  up  of  five  small  guns,  three  mortars  and  two  three- 
pounders.  The  narrow  streets  which  Cadillac  had  laid  out  were  still 
there  and  were  extended  outside  the  stockade.  The  greater  part  of  the 
houses  were  outside  the  inclosure.  Soon  after  the  surrender  the  seat 
of  government  for  the  newly  acquired  territory  was  removed  from  Que- 
bec to  New  York,  and  Gen.  Jeffrey  Amherst,  who  had  been  so  active 
in  the  late  war,  was  placed  in  general  control.  Presently  disquieting 
rumors  began  to  reach  his  ears.  The  French  and  Indians  were  reported 
to  be  working  together  with  suspicious  intimacy,  while  each  showed  a 
lack  of  cordiality  toward  the  British,  and  it  was  believed  that  a  con- 
spiracy was  on  foot  to  drive,  the  British  away  from  Detroit  and  re- 
establish either  the  French  or  Indian  domination.  General  Amherst 
sent  Sir  William  Johnson,  the  ablest  Indian  commissioner  the  English 
possessed  in  the  colonies,  to  Detroit  to  investigate  the  truth  of  the  ru- 
mors, and  ascertain  the  real  status  of  affairs.  Sir  William  arrived  at 
his  destination  September  3,  1761,  having  coasted  in  bateaux  along  the 
north  shore  of  Lake  Erie,  and  he  brought  Capt.  Henry  Gladwin  and  a 
detachment  of  300  troops,  with  stores,  ammunition,  etc.,  for  the  post. 
Sir  William  remained  at  the  post  fifteen  days,  holding  councils  with  the 
Indians  in  the  daytime  and  devoting  his  evenings  to  social  pleasures 
with  the  citizens.  He  made  treaties  with  the  Ottawas,  Potawatomies 
and  Miamis,  who  resided  in  the  vicinity  of  the  fort,  and  also  with  tiK._'^- 
Chippewas  of  the  North  and  the  Delawares,  Shawnees  and  Senecas  of 
the  Ohio  region.  These  nations  had  been  invited  to  meet  him  in  coun- 
cil and  the  commissioner  w^as  liberal  in  bestowing  presents.  He  also 
sent  troops  and  supplies  to  the  lake  posts  above  and  below,  and  form- 


ulated  new  trade  regulations.  Sir  William  was  an  Irishman  of  cordial 
and  winning  disposition  and  an  official  of  large  experience  and  great 
capacity.  Among  the  French  gentlemen  he  met  at  Detroit  were  Col- 
onel Du  Quesne  and  Major  La  Mothe,  two  officers  who  had  surrendered 
their  swords  to  him  at  Niagara.  There  was  a  round  of  festivities,  Sir 
William  entertaining  his  guests  in  the  quarters  of  M.  Bellestre,  the  last 
French  commandant,  and  he  made  many  visits  to  the  homes  of  the 
leading  citizens,  including  a  visit  to  the  Huron  mission  across  the  river, 
where  he  was  entertained  by  Father  Potier,  the  missionary  priest. 
During  his  visit.  Major  Henry  Gladwin,  the  new  commandant,  was 
confined  to  his  bed  by  an  attack  of  fever  and  ague,  and  Captain  Donald 
Campbell  had  charge  of  the  post.  In  Sir  William's  diary  occurs  the 
following  passages : 

"September  6, — a  very  fine  morning.  This  evening  I  am  to  dine  with  Captain 
Campbell,  who  is  also  to  give  the  ladies  a  ball  that  I  maj'  meet  them.  They  assem- 
bled at  8  p.  M.  to  the  number  of  twenty.  I  opened  the  ball  with  Mademoiselle  Cuil- 
lerier,  a  fine  girl;  we  danced  till  five  o'clock  in  the  morning. 

"Monday,  September  14, — I  had  for  dinner  this  evening  the  French  gentlemen  of 
Detroit;  also  the  vicar-general  Bocquet  of  the  French  church,  and  the  Jesuit  Father 
Potier  of  the  Huron  Mission,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river.  There  was  plenty 
of  good  wine  and  my  guests  got  very  merry.  I  invited  them  all  to  a  ball  that  I  am  to 
give  to-morrow  night. 

The  entry  for  September  15,  says  that  the  ball  lasted  the  whole  night 
until  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning. 

"  I  promised  to  write  Mile.  Cuillerier  as  soon  as  possible,  my  senti- 
ments," Sir  William  concludes. 

On  the  17th  Sir  William  crossed  the  river  and  visited  the  Huron  vil- 
lage, where  the  warriors  were  drawn  up  in  line;  they  presented  arms 
and  fired  a  salute.  He  addressed  their  council,  and  afterward  took 
supper  with  Father  Potier.  Next  day  he  embarked  for  his  return 
homeward.  The  beauty  and  attractions  of  Mile.  Cuillerier  made  a 
great  impression  upon  the  gallant  Irish  superintendent  of  Indian  affairs, 
and  he  corresponded  with  her  for  several  years,  and  even  after  her 
marriage  to  James  Sterling,  a  Scotch  merchant  and  British  official  at 

Sir  William  Johnson  was  a  man  of  varied  talents  and  a  figure  of 
aiuch  importance  in  the  early  English  colonies.  He  was  born  in  Ire- 
land in  1715.  His  uncle.  Sir  Peter  Warren,  married  Miss  Delancy,  a 
New  York  heiress,  who  had  large  estates,  and  William  Johnson  came 
over  in  1738  to  take  the  management  of  them.     He  settled  at  Warrens- 


burg,  near  Schenectady,  where  the  Mohawks  made  him  one  of  their 
sachems.  Governor  Clinton  made  him  colonel  of  the  Iroquois  in  1744. 
In  1746  he  was  Indian  commissioner  of  the  colony,  and  two  years  later 
he  was  given  command  of  the  New  York  colonial  troops  which  repelled 
an  attack  from  the  French  and  Indians  of  the  north.  In  1750  the  king 
made  him  a  member  of  the  governor's  council.  He  settled  a  serious 
difference  between  the  settlers  of  the  Mohawk  valley  and  the  Indians 
in  1753,  and  General  Braddock  made  him  superintendent  of  the  Iroquois 
and  their  allies.  As  commander-in-chief  of  the  Crown  Point  expe- 
dition, he  defeated  Baron  Dieskiau,  and  for  this  was  given  $25,000  and 
made  a  baronet.  He  succeeded  General  Prideaux  at  the  siege  of  Niag- 
ara, when  the  latter  was  killed  by  the  explosion  of  a  gun,  and  captured 
the  fort.  He  was  also  present  at  the  capture  of  Montreal.  After  his 
return  from  Detroit,  in  1761,  he  was  given  as  a  reward  100,000  acres  of 
land  north  of  the  Mohawk  River,  for  preventing  all  the  Iroquois,  except 
the  Senecas,  from  joining  in  Pontiac's  conspiracy.  In  1764  he  built  a 
home  at  Johnstown.  In  1736  he  married  Catherine  Wisenburg,  who 
died  leaving  a  son  and  two  daughters.  Thereafter  he  had  many  mis- 
tresses, both  white  and  Indian.  His  favorite  was  Molly  Brant,  a  sister 
of  Joseph  Brant,  the  Mohawk  chief,  whom  he  educated,  and  eight  chil- 
dren resulted  from  this  alliance.  He  provided  for  them  in  his  will. 
When  he  died  in  1774,  it  was  said  that  he  left  one  hundred  children, 
but  three  of  whom  were  legitimate. 

Meanwhile  Spain  had  been  playing  an  important  but  secondary  role 
in  North  America.  Her  wars  with  other  European  powers  were  gen- 
erally followed  by  losses  or  acquisitions  of  territory  on  this  continent. 
Louisiana  was  settled  by  the  French  in  1609,  two  years  before  the 
founding  of  Detroit,  and  Iberville  founded  the  first  colony  at  Biloxi, 
which  is  now  in  the  State  -of  Mississippi.  The  French  remained  in 
possession  of  Louisiana  until  1762,  when  they  ceded  it  to  Spain,  being 
glad  to  avoid  a  possible  contest  with  England  for  it.  Spain  found  the 
holding  of  this  vast  territory  too  onerous  and  it  was  retroceded  to 
France  in  1800.  Napoleon  saw  that  it  could  not  be  held  as  against 
Great  Britain,  so  in  1803  he  shrewdly  sold  it  to  the  United  States,  the 
only  power  that  had  successfully  resisted  British  domination  on  the 
continent.  The  price  paid  was  $15,000,000.  Louisiana  at  that  tirffi, 
included  all  the  country  west  of  the  Mississippi  not  occupied  by  Spain, 
extending  as  far  north  as  the  British  territory  and  comprising  the 
whole  or  part  of  the  present  States  of  Arkansas,  Kansas,  Indian  Ter- 




ritory,  Missouri,  Nebraska,  Iowa,  Minnesota,  Louisiana,  Mississippi, 
Alabama,  the  Dakotas,  Montana,  Wyoming,  Idaho,  Oregon  and  Wash- 
ington. In  1762  there  was  trouble  between  England  and  Spain,  and 
Pontiac  was  made  to  believe  that  Spain  would  help  the  French  to 
recover  New  France. 


Pontiac,  the  Napoleon  of  the  Western  Indians — He  Conspires  with  the  Chiefs  of 
Sixty  Tribes  to  Drive  the  British  Out  of  the  Country — His  Plans  are  Betrayed  to 
Commandant  Gladwin— 1761-1763. 

When  Gladwin  assumed  command  he  made  Captain  Campbell  his 
deputy.  Campbell  had  made  himself  very  popular  with  the  old  resi- 
dents of  Detroit,  and  the  Indians  regarded  him  with  more  favor  than 
was  usually  bestowed  by  them  upon  an  Englishman.  His  influence 
tended  to  keep  the  savages  in  good  humor  at  Detroit,  even  while 
trouble  was  brewing.  Gladwin  was  a  brusque  and  business-like  com- 
mandant, with  a  manner  in  striking  contrast  to  that  of  Captain  Camp- 
bell, and  the  Indians  did  not  like  him.  Some  of  the  French  who 
were  in  suspicious  intimacy  with  the  savages  also  disliked  the  new 
commandant,  but  Gladwin  scarcely  gave  the  threatening  troubles  a 
serious  thought,  although  strict  regulations  were  observed  in  furnish- 
ing the  savages  with  rum  and  gunpowder.  While  he  was  resting  in 
fancied  security  at  the  fort,  Peche  Island,  the  summer  home  of  Pontiac 
on  Lake  St.  Clair,  about  a  mile  east  of  the  present  eastern  limits  of 
Detroit,  was  a  center  of  great  activity.  Indian  runners  came  and 
went,  some  in  canoes  and  others  on  foot.  They  carried  the  war  belts 
and  the  plans  and  instructions  of  the  great  Ottawa  chieftain  to  distant 
tribes,  and  brought  reports  of  the  defenses  and  garrisons  at  each 
frontier  fort,  so  that  the  chief  would  know  when  and  in  what  manner 
to  strike  his  intended  blow.  Between  the  fort  and  Pontiac's  head- 
quarters stood  Belle  Isle,  then  known  as  He  au  Cochon  (Hog  Island), 
and  its  dense  growth  of  forest  shut  off  the  view  of  Pontiac's  headquar- 
ters from  the  fort. 

Early  in  April  Pontiac  called  a  grand  council  of  nations  at  the  River 
aux  Ecorces,  which  empties  into  the  Detroit   River  a  few  miles  below 


Detroit,  and  there  the  Ottawas  held  conference  with  the  Chippewas, 
Potawatomies,  Miamis,  Shawnees,  Ottagamies,  Winnebagoes,  Massasa- 
gas  and  several  other  tribes,  including  the  Senecas  of  the  Iroquois 
confederacy.  He  submitted  his  scheme  for  a  simultaneous  attack  upon 
Forts  Pitt,  Venango,  Presque  Isle,  Le  Boeuf,  Sandusky,  Detroit,  St. 
Joseph,  Mackinac  and  Green  Bay.  This  included  all  the  posts  from 
Pittsburg  to  the  north,  and  these  controlled  the  headwaters  of  the 
Ohio,  the  south  shore  of  Lake  Erie,  the  Detroit  River,  the  Straits  of 
Mackinac  and  Lake  Michigan.  The  attacks  were  to  be  made  so  that 
each  post  would  be  too  busy  in  its  own  defense  to  render  assistance  to 
any  other,  and,  as  far  as  possible,  the  attacks  were  to  be  made  while 
the  defenders  were  thrown  off  their  guard  by  their  apparent  security. 
After  submitting  his  plan  Pontiac  delivered  an  impassioned  speech 
which  roused  the  fighting  blood  of  the  assembled  chiefs  to  fever  heat. 
In  the  speech  he  alluded  to  the  fact  that  in  1746  he  had  aided  the 
French  in  defending  Detroit  against  Turtle,  chief  of  the  Chippewas, 
and  also  at  Fort  Du  Quesne  (Pittsburg)  in  1755  against  the  British 
under  Braddock,  and  was  successful  in  both  cases. 

About  the  first  of  May  the  various  tribes  engaged  in  the  plan  com- 
menced gathering  about  the  various  forts  which  were  marked  for  de- 
struction during  that  month.  The  Ottawas,  who  were  the  leaders  in 
this  war,  were  the  most  civilized  of  all  the  Michigan  tribes,  and  their 
wars  and  forays  were  far  less  atrocious  than  those  of  the  treacherous 
Chippewas,  who  reveled  in  indiscriminate  slaughter.  More  than  once 
in  the  history  of  the  colony  did  the  Ottawas  save  white  men  from  death 
and  torture  at  the  hands  of  other  tribes,  and  this  gave  them  the  repu- 
tation of  being  friendly.  Bands  of  Ottawas,  Chippewas  and  Potawato- 
mies were  dispatched  to  Mackinac  and  St.  Joseph,  the  latter  at  the 
mouth  of  the  St.  Joseph  River,  on  Lake  Michigan,  to  capture  these 
forts,  while  Pontiac  took  personal  charge  of  the  operations  against  the 
more  formidable  fort  of  Detroit.  Other  bands  were  sent  against  the 
other  forts  nained.  Pontiac's  warriors  began  to  congregate  about  the 
fort  of  Detroit  on  May  1,  1763,  and  in  order  to  allay  suspicion  and  at 
the  same  time  examine  the  surroundings,  a  band  of  forty  braves  danced 
the  calumet  dance  before  the  commandant's  house.  At  this  time  Major 
Gladwin  had  no  suspicion  of  an  immediate  attack.  The  main  body  of 
Pontiac's  tribe  was  then  encamped  on  the  Michigan  shore,  a  little  more 
than  a  mile  east  of  the  fort,  on  the  farther  side  of  Parent's  Creek,  which 
was  later  known  as  Bloody  Run.     The  French  residents,  as  usual,  went 


back  and  forth  between  the  settlement  and  the  camp  to  trade.  Most 
of  them  were  anxious  to  see  the  territory  restored  to  France,  which 
was  perfectl}'  natural.  The  better  class  of  them,  however,  were  not 
willing  to  have  it  done  at  the  expense  of  a  general  massacre,  although 
the  British  in  former  years  had  done  little  to  merit  consideration.  Three 
days  later  Madame  Guoin,  wife  of  a  settler,  visited  the  Ottawa  camp, 
and  on  returning  told  her  husband  that  the  Ottawas  were  up  to  some 
mischief,  as  she  had  seen  a  number  of  them  filing  off  their  gun  barrels 
to  half  length  with  a  show  of  secrecy.  Guoin  informed  some  of  the 
soldiers  at  the  fort,  and  two  days  later,  on  the  evening  of  May  7,  the 
plan  of  Pontiac  to  capture  the  fort  was  revealed  to  Major  Gladwin. 
This  information  was  given  under  the  seal  of  secrecy,  because  the  in- 
former would  have  met  death  at  the  hands  of  the  Indians  had  his  or  her 
name  been  discovered,  and,  as  will  presently  appear,  there  may  have- 
been  other  powerful  reasons  for  keeping  the  secret  for  all  time  to  come. 
Gladwin  was  a  man  of  honor  and  so  scrupulously  did  he  keep  his 
word  that  no  mention  is  made  of  the  informant  in  all  his  papers,  which 
have  been  carefully  examined  and  collated  by  Charles  Moore,  and 
which  were  recently  published  in  the  records  of  the  Michigan  Histor- 
ical Society.  Mr.  Moore  has  spent  much  time  and  research  on  the  sub- 
ject of  Michigan's  early  history,  and  some  of  the  details  of  this  account 
of  the  Pontiac  conspiracy  were  obtained  from  his  published  brochure 
entitled,  "The  Gladwin  Papers."  One  of  the  theories  of  the  revela- 
tion to  Gladwin  is  based  upon  an  ancient  French  manuscript  which  was 
found  tucked  away  amid  the  rafters  of  an  old  Canadian  homestead  as  it 
was  being  demolished  to  make  room  for  a  more  modern  structure.  It 
is  not  signed,  but  the  author  is  supposed  to  have  been  a  priest  of  old 
St.  Anne's.  Translations  of  it  appear  in  at  least  four  of  the  histories 
of  Michigan.  This  manuscript  is  authority  for  the  statement  that  Mo- 
hiacan,  an  Ottawa  warrior,  who  was  opposed  to  Pontiac's  scheme,  re- 
vealed  the  conspiracy.  He  is  said  to  have  come  to  the  gate  of  the  fort 
late  Friday  evening,  and  told  Captain  Campbell  that  on  the  next  day 
Pontiac  with  sixty  of  his  picked  warriors  would  enter  the  fort  to  talk 
about  a  treaty,  and  at  a  given  signal  they  would  draw  their  concealed 
weapons,  kill  the  English  officers  and  give  the  residents  over  to  slaugh- 
ter. He  was  so  afraid  of  betrayal  that  he  would  not  trust  his  revela- 
tion to  the  French  interpreter.  La  Butte,  but  gave  it  as  best  he  could 
in  broken  English.  Another  tradition  has  it  that  a  daughter  of  La 
Butte  told  Gladwin  of  the  conspiracy,  and  still  another  has  it  that  a 


Pawnee  slave  saved  the  British.  The  most  popular  theory  is  that  of 
Parkman.  It  was  about  an  Indian  girl  of  the  Ojibway  or  Chippewa  tribe, 
named  Catherine,  who  had  frequented  the  fort,  and  become  enamored 
of  the  commandant.  She  had  done  various  tasks  in  his  employ  in  the 
making  of  articles,  which  he  had  sent  as  presents  to  his  friends  in  Eng- 
land. On  the  evening  of  May  7  she  came  to  the  commandant's  quar- 
ters with  a  pair  of  elkskin  moccasins,  which  she  had  embroidered  with 
stained  porcupine  quills.  With  the  moccasins  she  returned  the  re- 
mainder of  the  skin  which  he  had  given  her,  and  which  had  not  been 
used.  Gladwin  had  intended  the  slippers  for  a  friend,  but  they  pleased 
him  so  much  that  he  told  the  young  woman  to  take  back  the  rest  of 
the  skin  and  make  another  pair  of  moccasins  for  his  personal  use.  The 
girl  refused  to  take  the  skin  and  stood  apart  looking  out  of  the  window, 
apparently  undergoing  some  sort  of  a  struggle  with  herself.  When 
pressed  as  to  her  reason  for  not  taking  the  task  she  replied  that  if  she 
made  the  moccasins  she  would  not  be  able  to  deliver  them  to  him  in 
the  spirit  land.  Her  strange  words  led  to  further  inquiry  and  on  being 
pressed  with  questions  she  revealed,  under  promise  of  strict  secrecy, 
the  details  of  Pontiac's  diabolical  scheme.  A  writer  remarks:  "If 
this  were  all  that  is  told  of  her  she  ought  to  be  enshrined  in  history 
with  Nancy  Ward,  the  prophetess  of  the  Cherokees.  But  tradition  has 
added  that  after  the  siege  she  took  to  strong  drink,  and  while  in  a 
maudlin  condition  she  fell  into  a  vat  of  boiling  maple  syrup  and  so 
perished  ingloriously.  Alas!  that  so  much  fidelity,  human  compas- 
sion and  loveliness  should  come  to  an  end  in  a  kettle  of  boiling  mo- 

When  Parkman  wrote  the  "Conspiracy  of  Pontiac  "  his  informants 
in  regard  to  the  betrayal  of  Pontiac's  plans  were  a  few  old  men  who 
were  children  when  the  drama  was  enacted,  and  whose  stories  were 
simply  a  repetition  of  tales  told  them  while  they  were  very  young,  and 
whose  memories  were  naturally  unreliable.  Mr.  Parkman  also  care- 
fully searched  the  archives  in  the  British  Museum  which  related  to  De- 
troit, but  could  find  no  corroborative  documents  in  support  of  the 
romantic  episode  he  relates  in  his  famous  work. 

Another  theory  respecting  the  person  who  gave  the  timely  informa- 
tion to  Major  Gladwin  has  been  broached  by  Richard  R.  Elliott,  of  this 
city,  whose  knowledge  of  the  early  history  of  Detroit  is  extensive  and 
profound,  and  to  whom  the  compilers  of  this  work  are  indebted  for  the 
'  interesting  sketch  of  the  Huron  mission  of  Detroit.     There  is  probably 


no  positive  or  direct  proof  existing  of  the  identity  of  Gladwin's  inform- 
ant, but  Mr.  Elliott's  theory  is  more  circumstantial  than  any  that  has 
yet  appeared.  It  may  be  premised  that  Fathers  Richardie  and  Potier, 
of  the  Huron  mission,  were  on  terms  of  intimacy  with  the  old  French 
families  on  both  sides  of  the  river,  and  notable  with  Pierre  Meloche,  a 
prominent  habitan,  whose  workshop  was  on  the  south  side  of  the  river, 
just  east  of  the  Ottawa  fort.  Meloche's  home  was  on  the  north  side  of 
the  Detroit  River,  just  opposite  his  workshop,  and  his  near  neighbor 
was  Charles  Parent.  Both  of  these  men  were  great  friends  of  Pontiac, 
as  were  most  of  the  French  families  in  the  region.  Pontiac  also  did  a 
good  deal  of  business  with  the  Huron  mission  storehouse,  which  was 
on  the  river,  about  three  miles  below  the  Ottawa  fort,  as  he  naturally 
preferred  to  deal  with  the  French  rather  than  the  English.  One  of  the 
details  of  Pontiac's  plan  was  the  cutting  off  of  a  portion  of  the  rifle 
barrels  of  his  chiefs  in  order  to  conceal  them  from  the  eyes  of  the  gar- 
rison. These  must  have  been  cut  off  by  means  of  fine-tempered  steel 
files.  Where  were  these  files  obtained?  They  were  not  kept  in  stock 
by  the  French,  English  or  Scotch  traders  in  Detroit,  but  they  could  be 
procured  at  the  Huron  mission,  which  had  a  forge  where  arms  and  agri- 
cultural implements  could  be  repaired  or  remodeled.  One  of  the  en- 
tries in  the  account  book  of  the  mission  during  the  French  regime, 
dated  February  20,  1751,  is  as  follows:  "Jean  Bart,  armorer  of  Fort 
Pontchartrain,  15  pounds  steel  springs;  18  pounds  steel  bars;  28  steel 
files."  Exclusive  purchases  of  files  were  previously  entered.  It  is  more 
than  probable  that  these  files  were  procured  at  the  mission,  for  they 
could  not  have  been  purchased  elsewhere  in  this  region.  Such  an  un- 
usual transaction  coming  to  the  notice  of  Father  Potier  doubtless  led 
him  to  investigate  its  cause,  and  that  Gladwin  was  warned  by  him  is 
more  than  probable.  Of  course  Father  Potier  would  effect  his  object  in 
such  a  manner  as  not  to  compromise  his  friends,  and  also  to  make  it 
impossible  for  Pontiac  to  ascertain  who  was  the  informant,  whose  days 
would  be  numbered  if  his  identity  were  discovered. 

After  Father  Potier's  death  in  1781  the  following  papers  were  found 
among  his  effects:  The  Huron  Grammar;  a  diary  of  events  which 
occurred  at  the  mission;  an  account  book  in  which  the  prices  of  mer- 
chandise and  the  names  of  customers  are  set  forth ;  a  resume  of  the 
important  events  that  happened  in  the  old  world;  a  directory  of  resi- 
dent Frenchmen  on  both  sides  of  the  straits  and  their  status  at  the 
post  of  Detroit  and  vicinity;  a  census  of  the   Huron   Indians  at  San- 


dusky,  Bois  Blanc  and  Detroit;  a  census  of  the  Ottawas  whose  canton- 
ment was  on  the  present  site  of  Walkerville,  Ont. ;  and  his  private 
correspondence,  which  consisted  of  copies  of  letters  written  by  himself 
and  the  originals  of  letters  received.  But  his  diary  did  not  contain 
anything  relating  to  events  transpiring  in  1761-63,  during  which  the 
conspiracy  of  Pontiac  and  the  siege  of  Detroit  took  place.  The  leaves 
containing  these  records  had  been  removed  by  him,  a  fact  which 
strengthened  the  belief  that  he  informed  Gladwin  of  the  murderous 
object.  Summing  it  all  up,  Mr.  Elliott's  theory  is  that  Father  Potier 
warned  the  commandant  through  Mile.  Cuillerier,  the  sparkling  and 
attractive  daughter  of  Antoine  Cuillerier,  the  French  trader.  Mr, 
Elliott  adds  that  if  the  Canadian  records  were  carefully  searched, 
it  is  probable  that  some  document  may  be  found  that  will  throw  a  light 
upon  these  services  and  thus  prove  or  disprove  his  theory.  Whoever 
informed  Gladwin  did  so  under  the  seal  of  secrecy,  and  this  was 
honorably  observed  by  the  commandant.  None  of  his  papers  throw 
any  light  on  the  subject,  and  he  evidently  wished  it  to  be  kept  secret 
for  all  time. 

■  Gladwin,  although  but  twenty- three  years  of  age,  was  no  novice  in 
Indian  warfare.  He  had  accompanied  the  disastrous  Braddock  expe- 
dition against  Fort  Du  Quesne,  and  was  aware  that  Pontiac  had  been 
one  of  the  leaders  in  the  fight  at  Little  Meadows  eight  years  before. 
So  it  may  be  imagined  that  he  lost  no  time  in  planning  to  meet  the 
treachery  of  Pontiac  with  a  show  of  force  that  would  check  the  con- 
spiracy at  the  very  outset.  He  had  no  idea  that  the  Indians  would 
muster  in  sufficient  force  to  attempt  the  capture  of  Detroit  by  siege. 

The  night  of  May  7,  1763,  was  a  busy  one  inside  the  palisades;  sen- 
tinets  patrolled  the  inner  wall  of  the  fort,  casting  anxious  glances  out 
into  the  darkness  where  the  gleam  of  distant  camp  fires  showed  through 
the  forest.  Canoes  crossed  and  recrossed  the  river,  bringing  more 
warriors  from  the  Canadian  shore  and  landing  them  a  short  distance 
below  Belle  Isle.  Captain  Campbell  and  the  officers  of  the  fort  walked 
the  narrow  streets,  giving  warning  to  the  inhabitants  that  they  must 
keep  inside  the  fortifications  on  the  following  day,  as  the  Indians  were 
known  to  be  in  a  dangerous  mood.  Arms  were  carefully  loaded  and 
put  in  order  for  immediate  use;  ammunition  was  dealt  out,  every  man 
saw  that  the  flint  of  his  gun  was  in  condition  for  immediate  use,  and  all 
possible  precautions  were  taken  to  defeat  the  project  of  the  enemy. 
All  night  the  stars  shone  upon  a  scene  of  woodland  beauty ;   on  the 


river  gently  rippling  past  the  fort,  and  on  the  Indian  camp  where  the 
warriors  were  dreaming  of  the  scene  of  massacre  and  the  scalp  harvest 
which  they  expected  on  the  morrow.  Sixty  chiefs  were  to  enter  the 
assembly  hall  in  the  fort,  each  man  clad  in  his  blanket  and  gripping 
through  its  folds  a  shortened  musket  with  its  death-dealing  load. 
Pontiac  was  to  address  the  commandant  as  if  preparing  for  a  treaty  of 
peace  and  every  warrior  was  to  be  on  the  alert.  If  the  occasion  proved 
favorable  for  an  onslaught,  Pontiac  was  to  present  Major  Gladwin  with 
a  belt  of  wampum  held  in  reversed  position;  if  unfavorable  he  was  to 
present  it  in  the  usual  fashion.  In  the  mean  time  the  other  warriors 
were  to  collect  close  to  the  gate,  and  if  the  signal  for  the  massacre  was 
given,  they  would  be  admitted  immediately  and  would  participate  in 
the  slaughter. 

At  ten  o'clock  next  morning  Pontiac  led  his  sixty  warriors  to  the 
gate  and  they  were  admitted  within  the  stockade.  He  saw  that  the 
sentinels  at  the  gate  were  armed  with  sword,  pistol  and  musket,  and 
that  the  narrow  streets  were  filled  with  soldiers,  every  one  of  whom 
was  fully  armed.  It  may  be  imagined  that  the  chief  and  his  warriors 
exchanged  meaning  glances  at  this  display  of  force,  but  they  had  gone 
too  far  to  recede.  They  entered  the  assembly  hall  and  met  Major  Glad- 
win surrounded  with  a  goodly  company  of  men  all  fully  armed.  The 
Indian  chief  sat  on  the  floor  as  usual.  "Why  does  my  English  brother 
keep  his  young  men  armed  and  on  parade  as  if  for  battle?"  inquired 
Pontiac  coldly.      "  Does  my  brother  expect  the  soldiers  of  the  French?" 

"I  keep  my  "soldiers  armed  that  they  may  be  perfect  in  their  ex- 
ercise of  arms,  so  that  they  may  be  ready  to  fight  well  if  a  war  should 
come,"  replied  Gladwin  pointedly. 

During  this  trying  moment  the  sixty  chiefs  sat  grim  and  silent,  their 
dark  eyes  turning  from  Pontiac  to  Gladwin  and  casting  furtive  glances 
at  the  soldiers  in  the  room  who  appeared  to  be  peculiarly  alert.  Their 
stoical  training,  which  enabled  them  to  undergo  torture  without  com- 
plaint, stood  them  in  good  stead,  for  not  an  eye  quailed,  and  not 
a  tremor  of  a  muscle  betrayed  the  deadly  purpose  on  which  they  were 
bent.  They  were  ready  to  slay  or  be  slain,  and  the  manner  in  which 
their  chief  presented  the  wampum  belt  would  decide  a  matter  of  life  or 
death  for  perhaps  six  hundred  souls.  Pontiac  arose  at  one  end  of  the 
row  and  began  an  address  to  Gladwin,  assuring  him  of  his  regard  for 
the  Englishmen.  They  had  driven  the  French  warriors  from  Detroit, 
he  said,  because  they  were  mighty  men  in  battle,  and  the  Ottawas  and 


all  other  tribes  of  the  region  desired  to  express  their  good  will  and 
eternal  friendship  for  the  white  chief.  In  token  of  that  friendship  he 
had  brought  a  belt  of  wampum  which  he  would  give  in  honor  of  the 
occasion.  Thej^  would  light  the  calumet  in  token  of  peace  which 
should  be  observed  between  them.  As  Pontiac  began  unfastening 
the  wampum  belt  from  his  girdle  the  British  soldiers  in  the  council  hall 
at  a  signal  from  Gladwin  half  drew  their  swords  from  their  scabbards; 
the  sentinel  who  stood  in  the  open  door  signaled  to  a  long  row  of 
soldiers  ranged  in  front  of  the  entrance;  the  drums  rolled  the  assem- 
bly and  the  soldiers  outside  made  a  noisy  clatter  of  arms.  Death 
hovered  in  the  air  about  that  assembly,  and  Pontiac  felt  its  presence. 
His  hand  did  noL  tremble;  the  belt  was  calmly  unfastened  and  after  an 
instant  of  hesitation  he  handed  it  over  to  Gladwin  in  the  usual  fashion 
— and  death  passed  them  by.  It  was  Gladwin's  turn  to  reply.  He 
took  the  belt  and  turned  upon  Pontiac  and  his  followers  with  bitter 
words  of  reproach.  He  taunted  them  with  being  traitors  who  had 
planned  to  butcher  the  men  and  women  for  whom  they  had  professed 
friendship  but  a  moment  before. 

"  Look!  false  chief,  you  have  thought  to  deceive  me  with  lies  and  to 
slay  me  by  treachery,  but  I  know  the  treachery  and  hate  that  your 
lying  tongue  would  hide.  You  are  armed,  every  man  of  you  with 
a  shortened  gun  like  this  chief  by  my  side." 

He  stepped  to  the  nearest  Indian  and  pulling  aside  the  folds  of  his 
blanket  revealed  the  shortened  musket. 

"My  brother  does  me  wrong;  he  does  not  believe?  Then  we  will 
go,"  replied  Pontiac. 

His  dark  eyes  sparkled  with  baffled  rage,  but  with  perfect  dignity  he 
rose,  gathered  the  folds  of  his  blanket  about  his  broad  shoulders  and 
walked  with  measured  tread  down  the  hall  and  out  between  the  double 
file  of  armed  soldiers.  He  might  have  been  passing  in  review,  but  for 
the  look  of  scorn  and  hate  which  distorted  his  countenance.  His 
picked  warriors  followed  sullenly  and  silently,  and  they  passed  through 
the  gate  into  the  village  beyond. 

Less  fortunate  were  the  other  posts  in  Michigan.  At  the  moulh  of 
the  St.  Joseph  River,  where  Father  Allouez  had  founded  a  mission 
among  the  Miamis  and  La  Salle  had  built  a  rude  fort,  was  a  garrison  of 
fourteen  men  under  command  of  Ensign  Schlosser.  They  had  no 
warning  of  the  great  conspiracy,  and  on  the  morning  of  May  25,  1763, 
a  band  of  Potawatomies  suddenly  attacked  the  fort.       Eleven  of  the 


soldiers  were  killed  and  scalped  before  they  could  attempt  defense. 
Ensign  Schlosser  and  three  others  were  taken  to  Detroit  and  ran- 

At  Fort  Sandusky,  on  May  17,  Ensign  PauUy  was  called  upon  by  a 
party  of  Indians  who  had  been  perfectly  friendly  up  to  that  moment. 
He  admitted  seven  of  them  and  gave  them  tobacco.  At  a  signal  from 
the  chief  of  the  party  he  was  seized  and  bound  and  carried  out  of  the 
fort.  He  passed  his  sentry  lying  dead  across  the  entry.  His  twenty- 
seven  soldiers  were  all  dead  and  lying  scalpless  in  the  yard,  the  mer- 
chants of  the  post  had  been  killed  in  their  places  of  business  and  their 
stores  were  being  plundered.  Paully  was  carried  to  Detroit,  where  he 
was  given  as  a  husband  to  an  unattractive  old  squaw,  from  whom  he 
made  his  escape  to  the  fort  June  14. 

Ensign  Holmes,  in  charge  of  the  fort  on  the  Miami  of  the  Lakes,  or 
Maumee  River,  was  preparing  for  defense  against  a  possible  attack 
when  he  was  called  out  to  bleed  a  sick  Indian  in  a  wigwam  near  the 
fort.  He  was  shot  down  while  on  his  way,  and  the  garrison  surren- 
dered to  a  party  of  Frenchmen  who  were  on  their  way  to  St.  Louis 
(Peoria),  Illinois,  to  secure  a  French  commandant  for  Detroit. 

At  Mackinac,  on  June  2,  the  slaughter  was  far  worse,  as  the  place 
was  defended  by  a  garrison  of  thirty  six  men  under  Captain  Ethering- 
ton.  The  commandant  was  a  man  of  easy  disposition  who  held  the 
savages  in  contempt  and  disregarded  warnings  to  prepare  for  treachery. 
The  Indians  were  numerous  about  the  fort  every  day,  but  so  long  as 
they  were  not  allowed  to  enter  while  bearing  arms  they  were  con- 
sidered harmless.  On  the  morning  of  June  2  an  unusual  number 
collected  to  witness  a  game  of  lacrosse,  into,  which  the  two  sides 
entered  with  great  zeal,  and  the  ball  was  flung  wildly  about.  The 
squaws  stood  near  the  entrance  to  the  fort  looking  on  and  presentl}^  a 
wild  throw,  apparently  by  accident,  sent  the  ball  over  the  palisades. 
In  great  excitement  the  Indians  rushed  through  the  gate  apparently  in 
quest  of  the  ball,  but  each  man  as  he  ran  was  handed  weapons  by  the 
squaws,  who  had  concealed  them  in  their  garments.  The  character  of 
the  scene  changed  in  an  instant.  Captain  Etherington  and  his  soldiers 
had  been  looking  on  with  interest  and  several  bets  had  been  made  on 
the  result  of  the  game,  when  suddenly  they  were  surrounded  by  a 
hundred  yelling  savages  who  attacked  the  defenseless  garrison  with 
tomahawk  and  scalping  knife.  The  captain.  Lieutenant  Leslie  and 
fourteen  privates  were  all  the  soldiers  that  were  spared.      Alexander 


Henry,  the  trader,  was  sought  for,  but  a  Pawnee  slave  woman  hid  him 
away  in  the  garret  of  Mr.  Langlade,  a  French  resident,  where  he  was 
subsequently  discovered.  But  Wawatam,  an  Indian  whom  he  had 
befriended,  interceded  for  him  and  the  trader's  life  was  spared.  While 
Henry  was  hidden  in  the  Langlade  garret  he  could  hear  the  blows  of 
the  tomahawks,  and  amid  the  frenzied  yells  of  the  Indians  he  could 
distinguish  the  moans  of  the  dying.  When  the  awful  orgie  of  blood 
was  ended  the  bodies  of  Lieutenant  Jomet,  twenty  soldiers,  and  a  trader 
named  Tracy,  were  cut  up  and  boiled  in  huge  kettles  for  a  general 
feast.  The  Indians  in  this  massacre  were  mostly  Chippewas.  Henry 
was  concealed  for  a  few  days  on  Mackinac  Island  in  Scull  Cave,  and 
when  the  excitement  had  died  out  he  made  his  way  to  Detroit.  Cap- 
tain Etherington  and  his  few  surviving  captives  were  taken  to  the 
mission  at  L'Arbe  Croche,  on  the  northern  shore  of  the  lower  penin- 
sula, and  were  well  treated  until  they  were  exchanged.  It  is  said  that 
they  owed  their  lives  to  the  intercession  of  the  few  Ottawas  who  were 
present  at  the  massacre.  In  all  these  massacres  the  French  were  not 


Detroit  is  Besieged  by  2,000  Indians — Murder  of  Captain  Donald  Campbell  and  a 
Number  of  Settlers — Massacres  at  Mackinaw,  St.  Joseph,  Miami,  Sandusky  and 
Other  Posts— 1763. 

Major  Gladwin  no  doubt  believed  that  the  crisis  was  over,  for  the 
idea  of  a  well  organized  siege  of  the  fort  probably  did  not  occur  to  him. 
He  had  but  123  soldiers  and  eight  officers,  together  with  about  fifty  fur 
traders  who  were  stopping  in  the  fort,  and  his  artillery  was  limited  to 
two  six-pounders  and  five  smaller  guns.  The  garrison,  however,  was 
well  protected  within  its  strong  log  walls,  and  outside  the  barrier  was 
a  glacis  protected  by  three  rows  of  sharp  pickets.  There  was  no  lack 
of  water,  for  the  savages  could  not  turn  aside  the  river  which  flowed 
close  to  the  south  gate ;  and  two  small  vessels,  the  sloop  Beaver  and  the 
schooner  Gladwin,  were  available  for  bringing  supplies  to  the  garrison 
and  the  besieged  settlers.  No  doubt  Gladwin  underestimated  the  force 
which   was  opposed  to  him.      It  was  characteristic  of  Indian  warfare 


that  the  greater  part  of  the  fighting  men  kept  out  of  sight  as  much  as 
possible,  so  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  determine  their  numbers, 
but  the  army  which  Pontiac  gathered  at  Detroit  was  between  1,500  and 
2,000  warriors.  There  were  no  immediate  signs  of  hostility  after  the 
baffled  chiefs  had  left  the  fort.  The  afternoon  passed  quietly,  but  at 
sundown  six  warriors  appeared  before  the  gate  leading  an  old  squaw, 
whose  appetite  for  liquor  often  led  her  into  indiscretions.  They  were 
admitted  and  Gladwin  was  asked  if  she  was  the  informant  who  had  told 
lies  about  the  Indians.  Gladwin  assured  them  that  she  was  not  the 
person,  and  when  they  demanded  the  name  of  the  informer,  he  replied 
that  it  was  one  of  themselves,  and  that  he  had  sworn  never  to  reveal 
the  name.  They  dragged  their  captive  back  to  the  camp,  and  Pontiac 
vented  his  spite  upon  her  by  beating  her  over  the  head  with  a  stick 
until  she  fell  half  stunned  to  the  ground.  His  followers  clamored  for 
her  life,  but  he  waived  them  back  because  it  was  possible  that  she  was 
innocent.  Nearly  twenty  hours  passed  before  the  Indians  appeared 
again  about  the  fort.  Sunday  morning  was  quietly  spent,  but  late  in 
the  afternoon  several  canoes  paddled  down  from  the  Indian  camp  and 
landed  at  the  fort.  Pontiac  was  the  leader  of  the  party.  He  sent  word 
to  Gladwin,  asking  him  to  come  out  on  the  common,  as  he  wanted  to 
smoke  the  pipe  of  peace.  The  young  commandant  saw  in  this  another 
treacherous  ruse  to  get  possession  of  his  person,  and  he  refused  to  have 
anything  to  do  with  the  chief. 

Captain  Campbell  had  never  considered  the  Indians  seriously,  but 
believed  with  kind  treatment  and  a  little  finesse  they  could  be  perfectly 
controlled.  No  doubt  he  was  somewhat  conceited  because  of  the  gen- 
eral good. will  which  he  enjoyed  above  the  rest  of  the  garrison,  for  both 
the  French  and  the  Indians  were  very  friendly- toward  him.  He  ob- 
tained permission  to  go  out  and  smoke  the  pipe  of  peace  with  the  del- 
egation of  chiefs,  thinking  that  a  little  courtesy  would  pacify  them. 
He  brought  back  information  that  next  day  Pontiac  would  call  a  grand 
council  of  all  the  tribes,  and  that  he  would  them  disperse  them  in  peace. 
Next  morning  canoes  were  seen  massing  below  Belle  Isle,  and  soon 
after  a  Aeet  of  fifty-six  came  down  the  stream  to  land  about  500  In- 
dians at  the  fort.  The  gates  were  closed  and  an  interpreter  was  sent 
out  to  parley  with  Pontiac.  He  asked  admission  for  all  his  followers 
for  the  purpose  of  holding  a  grand  council,  but  was  informed  that  he 
and  sixty  of  his  followers  would  be  admitted  and  no  more.  The  answer 
made  Pontiac  furious. 


"Tell  the  chief  of  the  Red  Coats  that  my  warriors  are  all  equal, 
said  he;   "unless  every  man  of  them  is  admitted  not  one  will  enter. 
Tell  the  white  chief  that  he  may  stay  in  his  fort  if  he  will,  but  I  will 
keep  the  country." 

He  leaped  into  his  canoe  and  was  paddled  swiftly  toward  the  Ottawa 
village  up  the  river.  There  was  no  occasion  for  dissimulation  now, 
and  the  Indians  looked  about  for  victims.  The  French  settlers  were 
on  friendly  terms  with  the  Indians  and  showed  no  alarm,  and  the  few 
British  settlers  outside  of  the  fort  believed  they  would  be  secure.  The 
widow  Armstrong  and  her  two  sons  lived  but  a  short  distance  from  the 
fort.  They  were  attacked  by  the  Indians  and  butchered  within  sight 
of  the  fort.  On  He  au  Cochon  (Belle  Isle)  lived  an  English  settler 
named  James  Fisher,  who  had  been  a  sergeant  in  the  arm}'.  He  had 
a  wife  and  four  children  and  he  employed  a  man  servant.  Three  sol- 
diers from  the  fort  were  stopping  at  his  house  at  the  time.  A  band  of 
Indians  landed  on  the  island  and  butchered  all  the  adults.  The  four 
little  children  (children  of  Fisher)  were  either  drowned  in  the  river  or 
carried  away  into  captivity.  The  Indians  also  killed  twenty- four  head 
of  cattle  on  the  island.  Unfortunately  a  boating  expedition  was  absent 
from  the  fort,  employed  in  searching  out  the  most  available  passage  for 
large  boats  from  Lake  St.  Clair  into  the  St.  Clair  River.  With  this 
party  was  Sir  Robert  Davers,  who  had  spent  the  winter  at  the  fort  and 
was  a  boon  companion  with  Captain  Campbell.  Sir  Robert  was  accom- 
panied by  Captain  Robertson  and  a  crew  of  six  men.  The  Indians  met 
them  and  the  entire  party  were  murdered  on  their  way  back  to  the  fort. 
The  Indians  then  sent  word  to  the  fort  by  a  Frenchman  that  all  the 
English  people  outside  the  fort  had  been  killed,  and  that  those  inside 
would  meet  the  same  fate  imless  they  took  to  the  two  vessels  and  left 
the  fort  with  all  its  supplies  to  the  Indians.  Pontiac's  mission  to  the 
Ottawa  village  was  to  order  all  supplies  carried  to  the  new  camp  ground 
east  of  the  ravine  of  Parent's  Creek,  now  known  as  Bloody  Run,  and 
the  squaws  were  to  come  over  from  the  village,  which  was  located  on 
the  site  of  Walkerville,  to  prepare  food  for  the  fighting  men.  Return- 
ing to  the  camp  Pontiac  put  on  the  war  paint  of  his  tribe,  after  which 
he  danced  the  grand  war  dance;  chanted  about  the  prowess  of  his  war- 
riors, and  recounted  the  wrongs  they  had  to  revenge  upon  the  English. 
His  example  was  imitated  by  the  others;  the  circle  of  the  dance  widened, 
and  the  chanting  was  interrupted  by  wild  yells  as  the  Indians  worked 
themselves  into  a  frenzy  of  passion.      In  a  short  time  the  whole  camp 


was  inflamed  with  a  thirst  for  blood,  and  the  echoing  yells  were  wafted 
down  to  the  fort,  givingnotice  that  a  war  had  begun.  When  morning- 
broke  upon  the  settlement  the  sentinels  discovered  that  the  Indians  had 
moved  up  close  to  the  fort  where  they  could  find  shelter  from  the  soldiers' 
muskets  behind  the  outer  row  of  houses.  War  was  declared,  but  strat- 
egy was  not  at  an  end.  A  party  of  Wyandottes  stopped  at  the  fort  on 
their  way  to  join  Pontiac,  and  after  being  cheered  with  rum  they  went 
away  promising  to  do  what  they  could  to  secure  peace.  A  delegation 
of  chiefs  from  each  tribe  in  the  camp  soon  appeared  before  the  fort, 
accompanied  by  Frenchmen  in  order  to  assure  the  garrison  that  they 
were  on  a  peaceful  mission.  They  were  admitted  to  the  commandant 
and  they  told  him  that  all  the  chiefs  were  assembled  at  the  house  of 
trader  Cuillerier,  father  of  the  black  eyed  belle  of  the  settlement,  and 
that  they  desired  to  hold  council  with  a  delegation  from  the  fort.  They 
asked  that  Captain  Campbell  and  another  officer  be  allowed  to  come  to 
the  council,  and  assured  Gladwin  that  a  peace  could  probably  be  ar- 
ranged. By  this  time  the  commandant  had  lost  all  faith  in  Indian  in- 
tegrity and  he  refused,  but  Campbell  pleaded  for  the  opportunity  and 
asked  that  Lieutenant  McDougall  might  be  his  companion.  Gladwin 
gave  reluctant  permission. 

Night  was  falling  as  the  party  left  the  fort.  As  they  were  passing- 
through  the  village  they  saw  M.  Guoin,  who  had  reported  the  shorten- 
ing of  the  gun  barrels,  which  was  the  first  intimation  of  trouble.  He 
begged  the  two  officers  to  go  back  and  abandon  their  hazardous  un- 
dertaking, and  told  them  that  even  if  the  chiefs  were  acting  in  good 
faith  it  would  be  d(;ubtful  if  they  could  control  the  frenz}^  of  their  fol- 
lowers. Campbell  laughed  at  his  fears  and  passed  on  toward  the  house 
of  Cuillerier.  A  hundred  yards  further  on  the  peril  of  the  situation 
dawned  upon  them,  for  a  number  of  warriors  landed  from  their  canoes 
and  ran  upon  them.  The  warning  shouts  of  Pontiac  and  his  swift  rush 
to  their  rescue,  saved  them  from  destruction.  Arriving  at  the  house 
they  found  M.  Cuillerier  seated  upon  a  table  in  the  middle  of  the  largest 
room.  Antoine  Cuillerier  had  some  peculiar  traits  of  character;  he 
was  noted  as  a  vain,  conceited  man  who  believed  that  his  mental 
and  physical  gifts  were  of  the  finest  quality.  He  habitually  wore  loud 
and  showy  clothes  and  a  profusion  of  trinkets  and  gold  lace;  his  moc- 
casins being  of  fantastic  pattern  and  his  sash  elaborately  decorated  with 
beads.  He  had  a  restless  ambition  to  be  considered  a  leader  in  the 
affairs  of  the  community,  and  posed  as  the  friend  of  the  Indian  and  a 


hater  of  the  English.  The  latter  trait,  however,  was  not  publicly  dis- 
played for  very  good  reasons.  It  is  believed  that  he  was  but  little 
more  than  a  tool  of  Pontiac  in  the  machinations  of  that  wily  warrior. 
His  house  was  on  the  bank  of  Parent's  Creek. 

After  Campbell  and  McDougall  arrived,  Pontiac  announced  that  he 
recognized  Cuillerier  as  the  father  of  the  settlement,  in  place  of  M.  Bel- 
lestre,  until  the  latter  should  return.  The  Indians,  he  said,  would  not 
tolerate  the  presence  of  the  British  in  that  territory,  and  the  only  way 
in  which  to  secure  peace  was  for  the  garrison  to  agree  to  abandon  the 
fort,  and  without  arms  or  baggage  leave  the  country  under  escort. 

This  announcement  appeared  to  please  Cuillerier,  who  thereupon 
shook  hands  with  the  British  officers,  saying:  "This  is  my  work;  I 
have  made  the  best  terms  I  could  for  you ;  I  thought  that  Pontiac 
would  not  be  so  easy." 

The  good  faith  of  the  French  trader  in  this  matter  will  naturally  be 
questioned.  It  is  known  that  he  had  been  a  prominent  man  in  the 
French  settlement  and  that  he  naturally  longed  for  a  return  of  the 
French  to  power  at  Detroit.  Ordinary  patriotism  would  inspire  such 
sentiments.  On  the  other  hand  he  had  been  on  excellent  terms  with 
the  British,  and  the  theory  set  forth  in  the  Elliott  manuscript  indicates 
that  his  daughter  was  probably  the  person  who  revealed  the  conspiracy 
to  Gladwin.  He  must  have  known  that  the  Indians  were  on  the  war 
path,  at  which  time  honor  and  integrity  are  laid  aside  by  them  and 
pledges  of  safe  conduct  to  surrendered  prisoners  are  not  regarded.  To 
accept  the  terms  offered  to  the  garrison,  and  for  the  latter  to  leave  De- 
troit unarmed,  would  have  invited  a  wholesale  massacre. 

Captain  Campbell  addressed  the  council,  recalling  the  good  will  which 
he  had  always  shown  toward  the  Indians.  He  counseled  peace  and 
friendly  relations  as  conducing  to  trade  and  the  mutual  benefit  of  the 
Indians  and  the  British.  But  he  told  them  he  was  not  the  chief  and 
therefore  Major  Gladwin  must  answer.  He  would  bear  the  message 
of  Pontiac  to  the  fort  and  bring  back  the  answer. 

No  sign  of  approval  followed  his  remarks  and  Captain  Campbell  and 
his  companion  arose  to  return  to  the  fort.  Pontiac  stopped  them  with 
the  remark:  "My  father  will  sleep  to-night  in  the  lodges  of  his  red 
children."  The  two  British  officers  then  realized  that  they  were 
prisoners.  They  were  conducted  to  the  house  of  M.  Meloche,  another 
French  settler,  and  placed  under  guard.  It  is  suggested  that  Gladwin 
at   this  time   was   holding  several   Potawatomies  in  custody,  and  the 


Indians  spared  the  lives  of  the  two  envoys  because  they  feared  retalia- 
tion at  the  fort. 

Pontiac's  dictum  was  conveyed  to  Gladwin  next  day  by  a  delegation 
of  Frenchmen,  who  urged  him  to  accept,  but  the  young  commandant 
was  not  to  be  intimidated,  and  he  told  the  envoys  that  he  would  hold 
the  fort  at  all  hazards.  He  wrote  a  message  to  General  Amherst,  in- 
forming him  of  the  situation  and  asking  that  the  necessary  supplies  be 
forwarded  in  order  that  the  siege  might  be  sustained.  This  was  borne 
down  the  river  by  the  schooner  Gladwin.  Five  canoes  filled  with 
armed  Indians  put  off  to  board  the  schooner,  and  Captain  Campbell 
was  placed  in  the  bow  of  the  foremost  canoe  to  screen  the  savages,  but 
he  bravely  shouted  to  those  on  board:  "Pay  no  attention  to  me;  do 
your  duty."  A  shot  from  one  of  the  crew  killed  a  Potawatomie  in  the 
foremost  canoe  and  they  then  turned  back.  When  they  reached  the 
shore  Cuillerier,  it  is  said,  jeered  at  them  for  their  faint-hearted  re- 
treat.     From  that  time  the  fort  was  fully  besieged. 

Reports  of  the  capture  of  the  forts  at  Sandusky  and  St.  Joseph  and 
at  the  Miami  settlement  on  the  Maumee  River  came  to  Detroit  and  nat- 
urally tended  to  dishearten  the  garrison.  On  the  morning  of  May  29 
ten  bateaux  were  seen  coming  up  the  river,  and  the  soldiers  rejoiced  at 
the  arrival  of  supplies  and  reinforcements.  When  the  boats  came 
nearer  the  fort,  however,  the  besieged  British  saw  that  their  hopes  were 
vain,  for  the  bateaux  were  in  the  hands  of  the  Indians.  Lieutenant 
Cuyler,  who  had  set  out  from  Niagara  in  charge  of  the  relief  expedi- 
tion, had  been  surprised  by  a  night  attack  as  they  were  encamped  near 
Pelee  Island  in  Lake  Erie.  They  had  landed  on  the  previous  night 
about  ten  o'clock,  the  men  having  been  kept  at  the  paddles  until  long 
after  dark  in  order  that  the  Indians  might  not  discover  their  landing 
place  for  the  night.  Two  of  the  men  began  to  collect  dead  limbs  for  a 
fire,  while  the  others  prepared  a  place  for  hanging  their  camp  kettle. 
The  men  in  the  woods  roused  a  party  of  Indians,  who  were  following 
the  canoe  expedition  on  shore,  and  one  of  the  foragers  was  killed  and 
scalped.  The  other  ran  into  camp  and  in  the  midst  of  the  confusion 
that  followed  several  were  shot  down.  Lieutenant  Cuyler  rallied  thirty 
men  about  him  and  held  the  savages  off;  some  of  the  others  ran  to  the 
bateaux,  but  there  were  but  two  or  three  men  to  a  boat,  and  they  were 
captured  before  they  could  get  into  deep  water.  Cuyler  and  his  fol- 
lowers escaped  in  the  darkness,  but  the  men  who  fled  to  the  boats  were 
forced  to  assist  in  paddling  them  to  Detroit.     As  the  bateaux  arrived 


just  below  the  fort  two  soldiers,  who  were  rowing  the  foremost  boat, 
resolved  to  make  their  escape  or  die  in  the  attempt.  They  made  a 
movement  as  if  to  change  places  in  the  boat,  and  each  seized  his  Indian 
guard.  One  of  them  threw  his  man  into  the  river;  the  other  rolled  in- 
to the  water  in  a  death  grapple  with  the  Indian.  The  boats  were  close 
to  the  shore  and  in  shoal  water.  As  the  soldier  and  the  Indian  strug- 
gled to  their  feet  the  more  active  Indian  drove  his  tomahawk  into  his 
adversary's  brain,  but  the  other  soldier  brought  down  his  paddle  with 
all  his  might  upon  the  surviving  Indian's  head,  fracturing  his  skull, 
and  although  he  was  able  to  stagger  to  the  shore,  he  died  half  an  hour 
later.  The  two  soldiers  in  the  second  boat  attacked  their  guards  with 
their  paddles  and  drove  them  into  the  river.  The  three  desperate  men 
landed  the  two  boats  under  the  fire  of  more  than  sixty  Indians,  and  thus 
saved  several  barrels  of  pork  and  other  provisions  for  the  hungry  gar- 
rison. The  other  eight  bateaux  were  landed  at  the  Indian  camp  above, 
and  the  captors  all  got  drunk  on  the  rum  they  found  in  the  stores. 
They  killed  and  scalped  the  soldiers  who  had  not  escaped,  and  sent 
their  dead  bodies,  tied  to  logs,  floating  past  the  fort  to  intimidate  the 
garrison.  Ten  days  later  came  Father  La  Jaunay  from  Mackinac  Isl- 
and to  tell  of  the  slaughter  of  that  garrison. 

Six  weeks  rolled  by  and  the  provisions  of  the  savages  were  about  ex- 
hausted, so  Pontiac  set  about  obtaining  a  new  supply.  The  contents 
of  eight  bateaux,  and  twenty-four  cattle  killed  on  He  au  Cochon, 
indicated  great  consuming  powers  on  the  part  of  the  Indians.  The 
French  residents  across  the  river  from  the  fort  had  fertile  farms  and  a 
few  cattle,  so  Pontiac  attended  mass  on  the  morning  of  June  26,  in  the 
French  chapel  of  the  Huron  mission.  There  were  no  carriages  in  the 
settlement,  but  some  of  the  wealthy  farmers  had  rigged  easy  chairs 
with  side  bars,  and  seated  in  these  were  carried  to  church  in  state  on 
the  shoulders  of  their  Pawmee  slaves.  Pontiac  and  two  of  his  asso- 
ciate chiefs  seized  three  of  these  rude  sedan  chairs,  which  were  stand- 
ing at  the  church  door,  and  they  were  carried  about  the  settlement  to 
purchase  cattle  and  corn.  In  imitation  of  the  commandants  at  the 
fort,  he  gave  his  note  to  signify  his  indebtedness.  These  promissory 
notes  were  pieces  of  bi  ch  bark  on  which  was  cut  or  scratched  the 
outline  of  a  coon,  the  chosen  totem  of  Pontiac  representing  his  signa- 
ture.     He  afterward  redeemed  these  pledges  in  honorable  fashion. 

With  fresh  provisions  his  warriors  were  encouraged  to  continue  the 
siege,  and  hoping  to  hasten  the  capitulation  of  the  fort,  Pontiac  sent 





word  to  Gladwin  that  a  force  of  nine  hundred  warriors  was  on  its  way 
from  Mackinac.  When  they  arrived,  he  said,  he  feared  he  would  no 
longer  be  able  to  control  his  forces,  and  he  would  not  be  answerable 
for  the  consequences. 

In  the  mean  time  the  houses  and  barns  nearest  to  the  fort  had  been 
fired  by  red  hot  shot,  and  by  sallying  parties  sent  out  for  the  purpose, 
so  that  the  Indians  no  longer  had  shelter  for  a  near  approach.  The 
success  of  the  campaign  depended  on  supplies  being  delivered  to  the 
garrison.  Gladwin  answered  that  he  could  make  no  terms  with  Pontiac 
until  Captain  Campbell  and  Lieutenant  McDougall  had  been  returned 
in  safety,  according  to  his  pledge.  Incensed  at  the  determined  atti- 
tude of  the  commandant,  Pontiac  replied  that  the  kettles  were  heating 
to  boil  the  inmates  of  the  fort,  and  if  the  two  hostages  were  returned 
they  would  only  share  the  fate  reserved  for  the  others.  Four  days 
later,  when  the  hope  of  the  British  had  almost  departed,  the  schooner 
Gladwin  sailed  up  the  river  with  a  load  of  provisions  and  a  force  of 
fifty  soldiers  to  protect  her.  The  ammunition,  which  had  been  almost 
exhausted  in  keeping  the  savages  at  a  respectful  distance,  and  which 
alone  prevented  the  latter  from  firing  the  buildings  within  the  fort, 
was  now  replenished.  As  the  Indians  returned  victorious  from  the 
other  captured  forts  Pontiac  was  deeply  mortified  to  find  that  he,  the 
leader  of  the  great  campaign,  was  the  only  one  who  had  failed  to  ac- 
complish his  purpose.  He  had  one  more  plan  in  his  busy  brain,  and 
that  was  to  force  the  neutral  French  to  take  up  arms  and  unite  with 
the  savages.  He  argued  that  the  war  was  for  the  purpose  of  re- 
storing the  French  to  power,  and  in  the  expectation  of  success  a  secret 
messenger  had  been  dispatched  to  the  Mississippi  valley  to  bring  on  a 
French  commandant  named  Neyons,  from  St.  Louis,  Illinois,  to  take 
charge  of  the  fort  at  Detroit  after  it  should  be  taken.  The  pressure 
was  strong  on  the  French  at  Detroit  and  they  knew  not  which  way  to 
turn,  v/hen  a  copy  of  the  definitive  treaty  between  France  and  England 
arrived  at  the  settlement.  This  announced  that  the  French  king  had 
abandoned  the  settlements  in  the  North,  and  that  he  acknowledged  the 
sovereignty  of  the  British  crown  over  the  territory.  When  Gladwin 
assembled  the  French  on  July  4,  1763,  and  read  the  treaty,  James  Stir- 
ling, who  afterward  married  the  pretty  daughter  of  Cuillerier,  took 
service  under  the  commandant,  and  forty  others  (mostly  French)  fol- 
lowed his  example.  Once  more  the  spirits  of  the  garrison  arose  and  a 
bold  sortie  was  made  to  the  house  of  M.  Baby,  where  a  quantity  of  am- 


munition  had  been  concealed  to  keep  it  out  of  the  hands  of  the  Indians. 
It  was  a  bold  dash,  but  it  was  rendered  less  heroic  by  an  act  of  barbar- 
ism. As  the  soldiers  charged  for  the  house  a  number  of  Indians  fired 
upon  them  without  effect,  but  in  the  return  volley  a  young  Chippewa 
warrior,  son  of  a  chief,  was  killed.  Lieutenant  Hays  then  scalped  him 
at  the  door  of  the  house,  and  shook  the  gory  trophy  toward  the  Indian 
camp.  That  barbarous  act  cost  the  life  of  Captain  Campbell,  who 
might  otherwise  have  survived  the  siege.  Lieutenant  McDougall  and 
a  trader  from  Albany  named  Van  Epps,  who  had  been  captured  on  the 
river,  made  their  escape,  and  got  safely  into  the  fort.  Captain  Camp- 
bell refused  to  accompany  them,  because  he  was  an  elderly  man  and 
not  fleet  of  foot,  and  in  waiting  for  him  the  other  two  might  sacrifice 
their  lives.  When  the  Chippewa  chief  heard  of  the  scalping  of  his  son 
he  was  crazed  with  passion,  and  rushing  into  the  lodge  where  Captain 
Campbell  was  kept,  he  dragged  him  out,  struck  him  down  with  his 
tomahawk,  and  scalped  him.  Then  he  cut  his  heart  out  and  ate  it 
and  afterward  cut  off  his  head.  The  body  was  finally  cut  in  small 
pieces  and  was  boiled  and  eaten  like  those  of  the  first  victims  of  the 

This  is  the  report  commonly  accepted  by  historians,  but  according  to 
the  reports  submitted  by  Gladwin  to  Sir  Jeffrey  Amherst  the  captain 
was  killed  under  different  circumstances,  as  follows :  The  Indians  had 
erected  a  rude  breastwork  of  small  logs  near  the  fort  on  the  night  of 
July  3,  from  which  they  could  harass  the  sentries  and  the  British  sharp- 
shooters. Soon  after  it  was  discovered  a  sortie  was  made  from  the 
fort  by  a  company  of  soldiers  and  the  breastwork  was  destroyed.  A 
party  of  twenty  Indians  attempted  to  defend  the  work,  one  of  whom 
was  shot  dead  and  two  were  wounded,  "  which  our  people  scalped  and 
cut  to  pieces,"  Major  Gladwin  states  in  his  report.  Half  an  hour 
afterward  the  dead  were  brought  into  the  house  where  Captain  Camp- 
bell was  confined.  Then  the  savages  stripped  the  captain  and  killed 
him  with  shocking  barbarity. 

The  Gladwin  and  the  sloop  Beaver  were  lying  in  front  of  the  fort  on 
the  night  of  July  10,  threatening  with  their  cannon  any  war  party 
which  might  attempt  to  reach  the  fort.  To  get  rid  of  them  the  In- 
dians, under  Pontiac's  direction,  made  huge  rafts  of  logs  and  piled 
upon  them  masses  of  bark  and  brush  saturated  with  pitch.  When 
these  had  been  lighted  they  were  floated  down  to  the  two  boats  and 
threatened  their  destruction.     But  the  fire  rafts  were  met  by  boats  and 


pushed  to  one  side,  and  a  shifting  of  cables  allowed  the  vessels  to 
sheer  out  of  harm's  way. 

It  would  seem  that  all  the  warnings  of  the  past  would  have  led  the 
soldiery  to  continue  their  policy  of  waiting  until  the  Indians  would 
become  discouraged  and  abandon  the  siege.  So  long  as  the  garrison 
could  be  provisioned  and  supplied  with  ammunition  it  was  evident  that 
the  fort  was  safe.  But  the  desire  to  make  a  record  for  heroism  often 
leads  to  sacrifice  of  life,  and  the  siege  of  Pontiac  was  not  to  pass 
without  its  slaughter.  Captain  Dalzell  arrived  from  Niagara  with  a 
force  of  260  men,  on  July  29,  and  General  Amherst  had  given  him 
orders  to  put  an  end  to  the  siege.  The  boats  of  the  flotilla  made  a  fine 
show  on  the  river  as  they  came  on  that  sunny  morning  with  their 
regularly  dipping  oars,  and  those  who  were  not  rowing  awoke  the 
echoes  with  volleys  of  musketry.  Dalzell  was  anxious  to  go  out  and 
give  the  Indians  battle,  but  Gladwin  advised  him  to  give  up  that  idea, 
as  the  Indians  were  very  numerous,  and  the  chances  were  that  an 
attacking  party  would  be  flanked  and  ambushed  with  disastrous  re- 
sults. Dalzell,  however,  was  hot  headed  and  impatient,  and  said  that 
if  he  was  not  allowed  to  go  out  and  accomplish  something,  after  bring- 
ing his  regiment  two  hundred  miles,  he  might  as  well  return  at  once. 
Gladwin  gave  reluctant  consent,  but  warned  Dalzell  to  proceed  with 
great  caution,  and  have  his  skirmish  line  well  advanced  to  discover  any 
attempt  at  an  ambush.  It  is  supposed  that  some  of  the  French  warned 
Pontiac  of  the  intended  sortie,  for  that  able  warrior  prepared  to 
destroy  the  attacking  party. 

Just  before  daybreak  on  July  31,  Dalzell  marched  quietly  out  of  the 
fort  at  the  head  of  250  men ;  they  took  their  way  along  the  ridge  about 
on  a  line  with  Jefferson  avenue.  The  morning  birds  were  beginning 
their  songs  as  they  came  to  the  small  ravine  of  Parent's  Creek,  about  a 
mile  and  a  half  east  of  the  fort.  This  stream,  which  had  its  source 
three  miles  to  the  northward,  had  in  the  lapse  of  ages  furrowed  out  a 
little  gorge,  the  last  remnant  of  which  is  still  preserved  within  the  limits 
of  Elmwood  Cemetery.  All  the  rest  has  been  filled  up  and  obliterated 
by  the  march  of  public  improvements.  A  rude  bridge  crossed  the  creek 
near  where  the  Michigan  Stove  Works  now  stands  on  Jefferson  avenue. 
Day  had  not  yet  broken  when  the  skirmishers,  numbering  twenty-five 
men,  walked  across  the  bridge.  Not  a  soimd  broke  the  silence  of  the 
forest  except  the  measured  tread  of  the  soldiers  and  the  clank  of  their 
accoutrements.      Suddenly  the  side  of  the  ravine  was  a  blaze  of  fire  and 


a  storm  of  bullets  swept  the  bridge.  Half  the  skirmishers  fell  where 
they  stood,  and  most  of  the  others  were  wounded.  Dalzell  was  brave 
and  he  charged  across  the  bridge  with  the  main  body  of  his  men  in 
close  order,  offering  a  fine  target  for  his  unseen  foes.  The  bridge  was 
left  covered  with  dead  bodies.  Wherever  he  saw  flashes  of  fire  and 
heard  the  sound  of  musketry  Dalzell  charged  with  the  idea  of  driving 
out  the  Indians  and  cutting  them  down,  but  he  never  came  to  close 
quarters,  and  presently  as  day  broke,  he  found  himself  surrounded  by 
a  multitude  of  savages  His  only  hope  of  escape  was  to  cut  his  way 
back  to  the  bridge  and  this  he  did,  his  soldiers  falling  all  around  him. 
He  retreated  toward  the  fort,  but  every  woodpile,  farmhouse  and  out- 
building was  an  ambush.  As  they  ran  past  an  excavation  for  a  cellar 
it  belched  fire,  and  a  number  of  men  fell  to  be  butchered  and  scalped 
by  the  pursuing  host.  When  the  soldiers  grew  panic  stricken  Dalzell 
brought  them  to  their  senses  by  beating  them  with  the  flat  of  his  sword. 
Major  Rogers,  who  had  received  the  surrender  of  Detroit,  saw  a  house 
on  the  way  to  the  fort  belching  fire  and  showering  bullets  from  every 
window.  At  the  head  of  his  bold  rangers  he  burst  the  doors  and  the 
Indians  leaped  out  of  the  windows  taking  to  the  trees  aud  continuing 
their  fire.  Captain  Gray  fell  riddled  with  bullets.  Dalzell,  fatally 
wounded,  tried  to  help  a  wounded  sergeant  toward  the  fort,  but  both 
went  down  under  the  ceaseless  fire.  A  painted  savage  ran  up  to  the 
bleeding  body  of  Captain  Gray  and  cut  his  heart  out.  But  for  the  cool- 
ness of  Major  Rogers,  who  succeeded  to  the  command,  not  a  man 
would  have  lived  to  reach  the  fort.  When  escape  was  cut  off  he  took 
refuge  with  the  remnant  of  his  followers  in  the  Jacques  Campau  house, 
which  was  of  unusual  strength,  and  managed  to  keep  the  enemy  at  a 
distance  until  word  could  be  sent  to  the  fort.  The  boats,  armed  with 
swivel  guns,  put  off  from  the  fort,  and  under  protection  of  their  fire, 
Rogers  made  his  way  back  with  ninety  men.  This  was  all  that  was 
left  of  the  250  who  went  out  under  Dalzell.  It  is  said  that  less  than  a 
score  of  Indians  were  killed  during  the  fight. 

The  river  and  ravine  were  then  christened  Bloody  Run,  and  until  the 
summer  of  1893  a  scarred  and  bullet  pierced  tree  was  preserved  on  the 
ground  by  an  iron  railing,  the  last  silent  witness  of  the  slaughter. 
That  summer  it  was  cut  down,  and  now  no  living  thing  remains  which 
existed  at  the  time  of  that  battle. 

Pontiac  was  quick  to  see  that  his  only  hope  of  subduing  the  fort  was 
to  cut  off  communication  with  the  outside  world,   and  this  he  deter- 


mined  to  accomplish.  The  schooner  Gladwin  was  becalmed  off  Fighting 
Island  on  the  evening  of  September  4,  as  she  was  on  her  way  np  the 
river.  She  was  compelled  to  anchor,  and  the  crew  of  twelve  men  had 
to  risk  their  lives  in  an  exposed  position  where  the  savages  might 
attack  in  force  under  cover  of  darkness.  In  the  dead  of  the  night  a 
fleet  of  canoes  was  discovered  almost  upon  the  vessel,  and  there  was 
but  time  for  one  exchange  of  shots  before  a  large  force  of  savages 
boarded  the  vessel.  Commander  Horst  had  fallen  at  the  first  fire. 
Nothing  but  death  by  torture  confronted  the  seven  survivors,  and  this 
they  immediately  realized.  "  Fire  the  magazine!  "  shouted  Mate  Ja- 
cobs. His  order  was  understood  by  the  Indians,  and  they  precipitated 
themselves  into  the  river.  The  rest  of  the  night  was  passed  without 
molestation,  and  the  Gladwin  made  her  way  to  the  fort  next  morning. 
This  failure  dampened  the  ardor  of  the  Indians,  but  the  last  act  which 
would  bring  about  peace  was  about  to  take  place.  General  Amherst 
was  of  the  opinion  that  the  French  had  a  sinister  influence  upon  the 
Indians,  and  that  they  were  at  the  bottom  of  the  Pontiac  trouble.  He 
wrote  a  vigorous  letter  to  M.  Neyons,  commandant  of  the  French  in 
the  Illinois  region,  and  to  prevent  serious  complications  with  the  Eng- 
lish government,  Neyons  wrote  to  Detroit  warning  the  settlers  and  In- 
dians that  peace  had  been  declared  between  the  English  and  the  French, 
and  that  the  two  kings  desired  no  further  warfare.  The  shedding  of 
blood  and  all  evil  counsels  must  stop,  he  said,  because  under  the  peace 
regulations  the  Indians  could  not  attack  one  nationality  without  offend- 
ing the  other.  This  was  read  to  the  French  citizens  of  Detroit,  who 
promptly  acknowledged  the  right  of  the  English  to  possession. 

Pontiac  abandoned  hope  October  12,  and  sued  for  peace,  but  Major 
Gladwin  merely  agreed  to  a  truce  until  orders  could  be  received  from 
General  Amherst.  There  was  no  profit  to  be  gained  by  the  British  in 
prosecuting  the  war.  The  Indians  were  hard  to  strike  owing  to  their 
superior  knowledge  of  the  country,  and  their  destruction  would  ruin 
the  peltry  trade  and  stop  the  consumption  of  large  quantities  of  goods 
that  were  sold  to  the  outposts.  Gladwin  was  bitter  against  the  French, 
who  in  his  judgment  were  far  from  blameless.  In  regard  to  the  In 
dians  he  wrote  his  superior:  "They  have  lost  between  eighty  and 
ninety  of  their  warriors,  but  if  your  excellency  still  intends  to  punish 
them  for  their  barbarities  it  may  be  easier  done,  without  any  expense 
to  the  crown,  by  permitting  a  free  sale  of  rum,  which  will  destroy  more 
effectually  than  fire  and  sword.      But,  on  the  contrary,  if  you  intend  to 


accommodate  matters  in  the  spring,  which  I  hope  yon  will  for  the 
above  reasons,  it  may  be  necessary  to  send  up  Sir  William  Johnson." 
The  letter  is  a  tribute  to  the  wisdom  of  Sir  William  as  being  the  man 
best  adapted  for  handling  the  Indians.  After  more  than  five  months 
of  confinement  and  constant  danger,  after  weeks  of  short  rations,  with 
starvation  apparently  near  at  hand,  the  beleaguered  garrison  marched 
out  upon  the  green  sward  of  the  outer  village  with  glad  hearts.  The 
siege  had  lasted  153  days. 


Detroit  was  Saved  by  Pretty  Angelique  Cuillerier  Beaubien — The  Belle  of  the 
French  Settlement  Learns  of  Pontiac's  Treachery — She  Tells  Her  Lover,  James 
Sterling,  and  Sterling  Informs  Gladwin — 1763. 

Historians  who  have  written  the  story  of  Pontiac's  conspiracy  have 
accepted  as  a  plausible  theory  a  time-honored  tradition  which  has  no 
foundation  in  fact.  The  Ojibway  maiden  Catherine  is  unquestionably 
a  myth.  Recent  discoveries  show  beyond  doubt  that  the  information 
came  from  Angelique  Cuillerier,  and  that  her  lover,  James  Sterling, 
who  later  became  her  husband,  waS  the  actual  informant. 

In  the  Canadian  archives.  Series  B,  Vol.  70,  page  214,  is  a  letter 
from  Major  Henry  Bassett,  British  commandant  at  Detroit  in  1773,  to 
Sir  Frederick  Haldimand,  governor-general  of  Canada.  After  report- 
ing to  his  chief  various  matters  concerning  the  several  tribes  of  Indians 
who  lived  about  Detroit,  Major  Bassett  says: 

"  I  have  received  an  account  from  the  Wabash  Indians,  that  near  the  Ohio  some 
Indians  fell  in  with  four  English  traders  who  had  fifteen  horses  loaded  with  goods, 
and  that  they  have  scalped  the  traders  and  taken  the  horses  and  goods.  This  is  not 
confirmed,  although  the  Hurons  have  mentioned  it  to  me,  and  they  are  seldom  out. 
I  don't  think  the  Indians  are  at  present  much  to  be  trusted.  They  seem  very  rest- 
less, as  you  will  perceive  by  the  inclosed  report,  which  I  received  from  the  Indians 
in  council  ready  wrote  in  French,  and  translated  by  Mr.  James  Sterling  for  me.  I 
believe  some  French  traders  amongst  them  help  to  stir  them  up. 

"  For  want  of  a  civil  officer  here  the  commanding  officer  is  very  much  employed 
with  the  disputes  which  must  naturally  happen  between  the  inhabitants.  I  am  so 
uncomfortable  as  not  to  speak  French,  or  understand  it  sufficiently  without  an  inter- 
preter. Hitherto  I  have  been  under  obligations  to  Mr.  Sterling,  merchant,  who  has 
been  ready  on  all  occasions  to  attend,  and  has  wrote  and  answered  all  my  French 


letters  without  any  gratuity.  A  French  interpreter  where  the  inhabitants  amount  to 
near  1,300  souls,  I  should  conceive,  with  submission  to  your  excellency,  government 
would  not  object  to ;  more  particularly  as  I  am  informed  one  is  paid  at  the  Illinois 
settlements.  Should  your  excellency  allow  me  one  here,  I  beg  leave  to  recommend 
Mr.  James  Sterling,  who  is  the  first  merchant  at  this  place,  and  a  gentleman  of  good 
character  during  the  late  Indian  war.  Through  a  lady  whom  he  then  courted, 
from  whom  he  had  the  best  information,  he  was  in  part  a  means  to  save  this  gar- 
rison. This  gentleman  is  now  married  to  that  lady  and  is  connected  with  the  best 
part  of  this  settlement ;  has  more  to  say  with  them  than  any  one  else  here.  The  In- 
dians can't  well  begin  hostilities  without  his  having  information  of  their  designs.  If 
your  excellency  disproves  of  adding  third  interpreter,  mine  for  the  Hurons  is  a 
drunken,  idle  fellow  scarcely  worth  the  keeping  except  out  of  charity.  If  your  ex- 
cellency will  appoint  Mr.  Sterling  both  French  and  Huron  interpreter,  he'll  oblige 
himself  to  find  a  proper  person  for  that  nation. 

"  Mr.  Sterling  tells  me  he  has  the  honor  to  be  known  to  your  excellency  as  com- 
missary of  provisions  in  the  year  1759  at  Oswego,  and  at  Fort  Augustus  in  1760. 
At  his  earnest  request  I  have  taken  the  liberty  to  inclose  to  your  excellency  a 
memorial  from  him.     I  have  the  honor  to  be  with  very  great  respect, 

"Your  Excellency's  very  obedient  and  humble  servant, 

"H.   Bassett,  Major  of  the  10th  Reg't." 

In  this  and  foregoing  correspondence  is  a  picture  of  a  very  zealous, 
and  also  a  very  nervous  officer.  He  is  in  command  of  a  limited  force 
of  men  in  a  region  which  is  several  hundred  miles  from  military  sup- 
port. The  nearest  relief,  in  case  of  an  unexpected  attack,  is  Niagara, 
two  hundred  miles  away,  where  there  is  but  a  mere  handful  of  soldiers. 
About  him  are  several  tribes  of  Indians,  who  can  muster  1,500  war- 
riors, and  they  are  constantly  reminding  him  that  they  prefer  the 
French  to  the  English  rule.  They  come  to  Detroit  and  hold  excited 
councils  with  the  French,  at  which  the  British  are  denounced  as  in- 
truders and  interlopers.  The  only  means  of  keeping  in  touch  with 
them  and  watching  their  movements  is  by  the  courtesy  of  the  versatile 
Scotch  merchant,  James  Sterling,  who  takes  notes  of  their  utterances 
and  those  of  the  French  traders,  and  translates  them  to  the  command- 
dant  in  the  privacy  of  his  quarters.  Sterling  saved  the  garrison  by  re- 
vealing Pontiac's  plot  in  May,  1763,  and  he  got  his  information  through 
Mile.  Cuillerier,  his  sweetheart.  The  missing  link  in  the  chain  of  evi- 
dence is  the  manner  in  which  Mile.  Angelique  Cuillerier  obtained  the 
information.  In  the  foregoing  pages  it  has  been  shown  that  Antoine 
Cuillerier,  her  father,  was  in  more  than  suspicious  intimacy  with  Pon- 
tiac.  At  the  conference  in  the  Cuillerier  cabin  old  Antoine  was  the 
central  figure.  Seated  in  a  chair  which  had  been  placed  on  the  family 
table,  and  wearing  a  tall  hat  rigged  out  fantastically  in  gold  braid  and 


gay  ribbons,  he  was  recognized  by  Pontiac  as  the  head  of  the  white 
colony.  When  Pontiac  told  the  English  officers  that  all  the  English 
must  depart  from  Detroit,  Caillerier  urged  the  acceptance  of  Pontiac's 
pledge  of  safe  conduct,  saying  it  was  the  best  terms  he  had  been  able 
to  obtain  for  the  British.  The  inference  is  that  Cuillerier  had  previ- 
ously been  plotting  with  the  Indians  for  the  removal  of  the  British, 
peaceably  if  possible,  but  to  get  rid  of  them  and  restore  French  rule  in 
Detroit  at  any  cost.  It  is  easily  possible  that  the  fair  daughter,  Ange- 
lique,  would  be  prompted  by  a  woman's  curiosity  during  these  secret 
meetings,  and,  while  Pontiac  and  her  father  were  plotting  in  the  great 
living  room  down  stairs,  she  was  probably  listening  with  attentive  ear 
at  the  opening  in  the  loft,  where  the  younger  members  of  the  house- 
hold usually  slept.  The  plots  were  of  such  a  nature  that  she  would 
naturally  be  touched  with  a  woman's  tender  sympathy  for  the  doomed. 
Further  than  this,  Sterling,  her  lover,  was  a  Briton  born.  His  sym- 
pathies would  naturally  be  with  his  countrymen  rather  than  with  the 
French  and  Indians,  a  condition  which  would  undoubtedly  influence  his 

Nine  years  after  Pontiac's  failure,  Jacques  Campau,  whose  house 
gave  shelter  to  the  soldiers  retreating  from  Bloody  Run,  sent  a  memo- 
rial to  the  king  of  England  asking  for  a  grant  of  land  of  twelve  arpents 
frontage  on  the  river,  nearly  opposite  the  foot  of  Belle  Isle.  He  stated 
that  250  soldiers  had  found  refuge  in  his  house  during  the  day  of  Dal- 
zell's  disastrous  battle,  but  instead  of  being  grateful  for  the  shelter  af- 
forded them  for  several  hours,  and  refreshments  given  by  the  owner, 
they  robbed  his  house  of  $300  worth  of  its  furnishings.  For  this  they 
had  been  court  martialed  by  Gladwin,  but  the  loser  was  not  reimbursed. 
Campau  accepted  a  captain's  commission  under  Gladwin  and  went  to 
Mackinaw  with  120  men.  He  succeeded  in  pacifying  two  tribes  of 
hostile  Indians,  and  spent  ten  weeks  there  cutting  wood  and  preparing 
the  post  for  the  winter,  but  he  never  received  a  cent  of  pay  and  all  his 
appeals  to  the  commandant  were  unsuccessful. 

Pontiac  abandoned  all  hope  of  driving  the  British  out  of  the  West, 
but  he  was  regarded  as  a  dangerous  character  by  the  settlers  in  case  of 
trouble  between  England  and  France.  In  such  a  case  he  no  doubt 
would  have  renewed  hostilities  in  behalf  of  the  French.  So  distasteful 
was  the  presence  of  the  English  to  him  that  he  first  retired  to  the  Mau- 
mee  valley,  and  later  made  his  way  west  to  the  French  settlements  of 
the  Mississippi  valley.      He  did  not  die  in  battle  as  his  martial  spirit 



would  have  chosen.  He  went  to  visit  a  French  friend  at  St.  Louis,  Mo., 
then  in  the  possession  of  the  French,  where  he  adopted  the  dress  of  a 
French  military  officer.  One  day  an  English  trader  named  Wilkinson, 
who  had  a  grudge  against  the  chief,  offered  an  Illinois  Indian  a  barrel 
of  rum  if  he  would  waylay  and  kill  Pontiac.  The  mercenary  followed 
his  victim  into  the  woods  and  shot  him  dead,  and  thus  earned  his  re- 
ward, but  the  vengeance  of  Pontiac's  followers  afterward  resulted  in 
the  destruction  of  the  tribe  of  the  Illinois.  Pontiac  was  buried  some- 
where within  the  present  limits  of  St.  Louis  with  military  honors,  but 
no  stone  marks  the  spot  and  it  will  probably  never  be  discovered. 

Not  a  man  in  the  garrison  at  Detroit  cared  to  remain  longer  amid  the 
scenes  of  their  past  sufferings,  and  the  report  that  Major  Wilkins  was 
on  his  way  from  Niagara  with  a  flotilla  of  canoes,  containing  a  large 
force  of  men,  was  received  with  joy.  They  did  not  arrive  as  expected, 
and  fears  were  entertained  for  their  safety.  These  fears  were  confirmed 
about  November  12,  when  two  friendly  Indians  arrived,  bearing  a  dis- 
patch from  Major  Wilkins,  stating  that  his  fleet  had  met  disaster  in  a 
sudden  storm  on  Lake  Erie  and  that  seventy  of  his  men  had  been  lost. 
Their  stores  and  ammunition  had  been  sacrificed  to  keep  the  boats 
afloat,  and  the  party  had  been  compelled  to  put  back  to  Niagara.  It 
was  not  until  August,  1764,  that  Colonel  Bradstreet  came  from  the  east 
with  a  body  of  soldiers,  and  relieved  Gladwin  of  the  post  which  he  had 
grown  to  dislike.  Major  Gladwin,  although  not  lacking  in  bravery, 
wanted  no  more  of  life  in  the  wilderness.  He  went  to  England,  after 
resigning  his  commission,  and  spent  the  rest  of  his  days  with  his  wife 
and  children. 



The  British  Home  Government  Neglects  the  Colonies  and  Detroit  Languishes  as 
Settlement— The  Selfish  Policy  of  the  British  Tradesmen  Was  the  Cause  of  Most  of 
the  Colonial  Troubles— 1763-1773. 

Detroit,  notwithstanding  the  restriction  on  trade,  grew  rapidly  in 
population  and  prosperity  during  the  ten  years  that  succeeded  the  Pon- 
tiac  war.  Under  British  rule  it  became  an  emporium  of  a  vast  trade 
in  furs,  and  the  wealth  that  gave  leisure  for  cultivation  soon  brought 
its  best  society  to  a  condition  of  refinement  which  rivaled  that  of  the 
seaboard  cities.  The  rough  Indian  trader  was  there,  scarcely  more  re- 
fined than  the  imtutored  savage,  but  mingling  with  him  was  the  cul- 
tured British  officer  and  the  aristocratic  French  resident,  who  had  be- 
come rich  by  trade  and  the  growth  in  value  of  his  landed  possessions. 
The  extent  of  the  trade  in  furs,  considering  that  the  peltries  were  car- 
ried over  the  lakes  eastward  altogether  in  birch  bark  canoes,  was  a 
thing  that  strikes  with  astonishment.  When  the  English  took  posses- 
sion in  1760,  they  found  in  storage  furs  to  the  value  of  half  a  million 
dollars.  Soon  the  trade  increased  so  that  as  many  as  two  hundred 
thousand  beaver  skins  were  shipped  in  a  single  year.  Crowds  of  In- 
dians in  their  brightly  painted  bark  canoes  were  constantly  coming  and 
going  upon  the  river,  bringing  the  peltries  of  the  deer,  the  otter  and 
the  beaver,  and  carrying  away  the  numerous  articles  of  civilized  pro- 
duction which  they  received  in  exchange,  for  most  of  the  Indian  trade 
was  still  barter.  Often  these  gaudy  crafts  completely  lined  the  river 
bank,  and  the  vicinity  of  the  fort  became  the  mart  of  a  thriving  com- 
merce. The  canoes  were  both  shop  and  dwelling  house  for  the  abo- 
rigines. In  them,  turned  bottom  up,  and  slightly  canted  to  one  side 
to  allow  of  an  easy  entrance,  whole  families  lived  by  day  and  lodged 
by  night.  These  consisted  of  the  copper-colored  brave  and  his  dusky 
mate,  with  the  small  papoose  strapped  to  a  board  at  her  back,  and  an 
indefinite  number  of  "  little  Injun  "  boys  and  girls,  rolling  on  the  sand, 
with  only  a  raiment  of  bear's  grease  to  protect  them  from  the  swarm  of 
insects  that  infested  the  quarters.      Here  the  head  of  the  house  dis- 


played  his  wares — peltries,  baskets,  brooms,  mococks  of  sugar  and 
moccasins — and  exhibited  a  keenness  in  bargaining  fully  equal  to  that 
of  his  more  civilized  white  brother.  Lovers  of  the  picturesque  no 
doubt  enjoyed  the  traffic,  if  not  over  fastidious  in  the  matter  of  dirt. 

John  Bradstreet,  the  new  commandant,  was  a  man  of  little  principle, 
and  he  made  a  practice  of  beguiling  the  Indians  into  treaties  which 
they  did  not  well  understand,  and  into  giving  grants  of  land  which 
were  fraudulently  obtained.  These  were  the  cause  of  much  trouble  in 
later  years. 

As  soon  as  the  treaty  of  Paris  was  ratified,  steps  were  taken  to  estab- 
lish some  form  of  local  government  in  the  territory  acquired  by  the 
treaty.  This  was  done  at  the  urgent  appeal  of  the  settlers,  who  were 
tired  of  military  rule.  A  portion  of  the  country,  later  known  as  Lower 
Canada,  was  placed  under  the  jurisdiction  of  a  governor  and  council,  to 
whom  was  delegated  power  to  establish  courts  in  conformity  with  the 
the  English  law,  and  appeals  were  to  be  made  to  the  privy  council. 
Western  Canada,  including  the  present  province  of  Ontario,  had  not 
been  ceded  by  the  Indians,  and  purchases  of  land  from  the  Indians  were 
forbidden  except  by  treaty  through  the  government.  Detroit  was 
therefore  left  without  courts  of  law,  and  for  twelve  years  after  the  date 
of  the  treaty  it  was  like  the  French  regime,  and  had  no  system  of  gov- 
ernment other  than  the  military  rule  of  the  commandant  and  his 
appointees.  Detroit  was  annexed  to  the  province  of  Quebec  in  April, 
1775.  One  of  the  first  acts  under  the  administration  of  Bradstreet  was 
a  deal  with  the  Indians  by  which  they  ceded  to  the  white  settlers  a 
strip  of  land  beginning  a  short  distance  west  of  the  fort  and  continuing 
along  the  river  as  far  as  Lake  St.  Clair.  Then  followed  a  long 
conflict  of  schemes  for  private  interest  which  retarded  the  growth  of 
the  colony.  Commandants,  officers  and  traders  seem  to  have  been 
ruled  by  mercenary  motives,  and  the  merchants  and  manufacturers  in 
England  were  as  selfish  as  the  others.  Fur  traders  bitterly  opposed 
the  settling  of  the  country,  because  the  establishing  of  farmers 
throughout  the  territory  would  lead  to  an  extermination  of  the  fur- 
bearing  animals,  and  their  very  profitable  calling  would  be  affected. 
Their  opposition  was  backed  by  the  tradesmen  of  England,  who  argued 
that  the  development  of  the  country  would  eventually  lead  to  local 
manufactures  and  their  market  would  thus  be  in  danger  of  destruction. 
All  the  arguments  of  the  more  intelligent  leaders  could  not  convince 
the  tradesmen  that  the  development  of  the  western  world  would  en- 


large  instead  of  restrict  their  trade.  This  war  of  selfish  interests  con- 
tinued all  over  the  British  colonies  until  the  American  Revolution 
broke  out,  and  was,  in  fact,  the  great  cause  of  precipitating  it.  The 
tradesmen  appeared  to  control,  for  the  power  to  grant  lands  for  farm- 
ing purposes  was  taken  away  from  the  local  commandant  and  vested  in 
the  governor  at  Montreal,  and  private  purchases  from  Indians  were 
made  illegal.  The  most  the  commandant  could  do  was  to  recommend 
certain  grants. 

In  1765,  soon  after  the  British  were  well  established  at  Detroit,  the 
the  first  money  began  to  circulate,  and  it  was  known  as  New  York  cur- 
rency. With  the  advent  of  money,  the  payment  of  taxes  in  peltries 
and  other  local  produce  was  gradually  discontinued.  For  two  years 
after  the  treaty  had  been  completed  the  British  practically  abandoned 
Mackinaw,  and  the  place  was  occupied  by  a  village  of  Chippewas. 
Major  Robert  Rogers  was  sent  to  the  command  of  Mackinac  in  1765, 
and  he  immediately  began  to  scheme  for  his  own  advancement.  He 
was  soon  detected  in  dealing  with  the  Indians  for  private  grants  of 
lands,  by  making  lavish  presents  and  promising  many  things  which  he 
did  not  perform.  The  true  purport  of  his  scheme  was  never  fully  as- 
certained. He  may  have  learned  that  there  were  rich  deposits  of  cop- 
per in  the  region  of  the  upper  peninsula,  and  have  planned  to  secure  a 
title  to  them  in  defiance  of  the  crown.  He  was  suspected  of  acting  as 
an  agent  of  either  the  French  or  the  Spanish  government,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  obtaining  possession  of  the  Northwest,  but  the  latter  sus- 
picion does  not  appear  to  be  well  founded.  Both  these  governments 
must  have  known  that  such  a  scheme  would  stir  the  British  to  war 
against  them,  and  each  had  been  exhausted  with  wars  in  Europe.  The 
most  probable  case  is  that  Rogers  was  planning  to  establish  himself  as 
a  feudal  lord  among  the  Indians  of  the  North.  He  was  arrested  and 
taken  to  Montreal,  where  he  was  tried  by  court-martial  on  a  charge  of 
treason,  but  the  charge  could  not  be  sustained  and  Rogers  was  dis- 
charged. The  chief  evidence  against  him  was  an  intercepted  letter 
written  by  Colonel  Hopkins,  a  British  officer,  who  had  taken  service 
with  the  French,  which  urged  Rogers  to  get  the  good-will  of  the  In- 
dians, and  to  use  his  influence  toward  securing  the  independence  of  the 
colonies.  Hopkins  was  in  the  French  service  because  of  real  or 
fancied  wrongs  he  had  sustained  at  the  hands  of  his  own  government, 
and  this  early  propagator  of  revolution  was  no  doubt  seeking  a  per- 
sonal revenge  against  the  government  under  which  he  had  been  born. 


France  had  ceded  her  possessions  on  the  upper  Mississippi  and  all  of 
Louisiana  to  Spain,  and  it  was  merely  surmised  that  Rogers  might  be 
acting  for  one  of  these  powers. 

As  the  commandants  at  Detroit  had  many  duties  and  responsibilities, 
and  as  there  was  much  litigation  in  petty  civil  cases  among  the  settlers, 
it  became  necessary  to  deputize  some  person  with  authority  to  hear  and 
adjust  such  cases.  Capt.  George  Turnbull,  commandant,  in  1767,  is- 
sued a  warrant  to  a  merchant  named  Philip  Dejean,  who  had  been  a 
bankrupt  in  Montreal,  authorizing  him  to  take  evidence  under  oath  and 
to  hold  tribunals  of  arbitration  for  the  settlement  of  disputes.  Dejean 
was  also  authorized  to  draw  all  legal  instruments  and  to  conduct  pub- 
lic sales.  The  office  combined  the  duties  of  a  justice  of  the  peace,  no- 
tary and  sheriff,  and  Dejean  was  known  as  the  chief  justice  of  Detroit. 
This  authority  was  issued  April  24,  1767,  and  it  was  renewed  by  Major 
Robert  Bayard  when  he  succeeded  to  the  command  on  July  28,  of  the 
same  year.  Persons  locked  up  for  either  debt  or  misdemeanor  were 
required  to  pay  one  dollar  on  being  liberated.  A  tariff  regulation  was 
instituted  about  the  same  time.  Non-residents  who  brought  boatloads 
of  merchandise  to  Detroit  were  assessed  an  entrance  fee  of  two  dollars 
for  each  boat.  The  mild  rule  of  the  French  regime  had  given  way  to 
a  system  of  petty  despotism,  and  this  continued  until  the  banner  of 
England  was  replaced  at  Detroit  by  the  stars  and  stripes  The  governor- 
general  of  Canada  was  supposed  to  be  in  control,  but  most  of  the  au- 
thority was  deputized  to  the  resident  commandants,  and  the  rule  of  the 
latter  was  almost  absolute.  In  the  summer  of  1771  Michael  Due,  a 
resident  of  Detroit,  murdered  a  voyageur  named  Tobias  Isenhart,  pre- 
sumably for  his  money.  Due  was  examined  before  Justice  Dejean, 
sent  to  Quebec  for  trial,  and  was  subseqently  hanged  at  Montreal. 

The  presence  of  copper  in  northern  Michigan  and  in  the  islands  of 
Lake  Superior  was  known  to  the  French  at  a  very  early  day,  but  sev- 
eral circumstances  caused  these  mineral  deposits  to  be  neglected.  The 
Jesuit  fathers  were  more  interested  in  saving  souls  than  in  making 
fortunes  for  adventurers,  and  the  fur  traders  could  carry  on  their  busi- 
ness wnth  a  small  capital  and  make  rich  profits,  while  a  heavy  in- 
vestment of  capital  was  needed  to  develop  a  mine  and  erect  the  neces- 
sary smelting  works.  There  was  one  trader,  however,  of  a  different 
opinion,  the  same  Alexander  Henry  who  so  narrowly  escaped  destruc- 
tion at  the  time  of  the  massacre  at  Mackinaw.  He  made  an  extended' 
exploration  along  the  eastern  shore  of  Lake  Superior  in   1770;  even 


putting  off  from  the  main  land  to  Michipicoten  and  the  more  remote 
Caribou  Island.  Private  Norburg  of  the  Royal  American  Regiment, 
and  several  other  adventurous  spirits  accompanied  him,  and  Norburg 
made  the  first  discovery  of  silver  ore.  While  on  this  trip  he  picked  up 
a  small  boulder,  rich  in  silver,  weighing  about  eight  pounds,  vi^hich  was 
sent  to  England  for  assay.  On  his  return  Henry  told  of  a  mass  of 
rock  copper  which  he  had  discovered  on  the  surface  of  the  earth  and 
from  which  he  had  chopped  a  mass  weighing  about  one  hundred 
pounds.  In  1773  he  induced  Sir  William  Johnson,  the  Indian  agent, 
to  unite  with  him  for  the  development  of  a  mine  near  Ontonagon 
River,  but  from  the  difficulty  of  raising  the  ore  without  expensive 
machinery,  and  the  lack  of  a  smelting  plant,  the  enterprise  was  soon 
abandoned.  The  duke  of  Gloucester,  Sir  Samuel  Tutchet,  and  several 
other  capitalists  were  interested,  but  after  experiments  they  found  that 
profits  could  not  be  realized.  At  this  time,  1770,  the  Hudson  Bay 
Company,  which  had  received  its  charter  from  Charles  II  in  1669,  after 
conducting  a  profitable  and  almost  exclusive  fur  trade  for  more  than  a 
century,  found  a  rival  in  the  field  known  as  the  Northwest  Company. 
Individual  traders  also  engaged  in  the  fur  trade,  and  for  a  long  time 
there  was  much  lawlessness  among  the  coiireurs  of  the  rival  companies. 
These  coiireurs  stopped  at  no  device  to  induce  the  Indian  to  trade  with 
their  respective  employers,  or  to  injure  that  of  their  competitors. 
Serious  troubles  were  threatened,  but  they  were  averted  by  Lord  Sel- 
kirk, who,  by  a  clever  bit  of  financiering,  united  the  interests  of  the 
two  companies,  and  thereafter  the  consolidated  Hudson  Bay  Company, 
being  in  complete  control,  managed  to  keep  settlers  out  of  the  fur 
countr)'-  for  many  years. 

In  the  winter  of  1773  a  trader  named  McDowell,  from  Pittsburg, 
who  was  stopping  in  a  house  near  the  fort,  refused  to  sell  rum  to  an 
Indian.  The  Indian  went  outside  of  the  house,  and,  poking  his  gun 
through  the  window,  shot  McDowell  dead  as  he  sat  before  the  fire. 
This  caused  Major  Bassett  to  write  to  Governor  William  Tryon,  pro- 
testing against  the  introduction  of  rum  from  Albany  and  Canada. 
' '  Trading  will  never  be  safe  while  it  continues, "  said  he ;  "  the  leading 
chiefs  complain  that  the  English  are  killing  all  their  young  men  with 
spirits.  They  purchase  poison  instead  of  blankets  and  the  necessaries 
of  life.  They  say  they  lose  more  young  men  by  rum  than  they  lose  by 
war.  It  is  not  in  the  power  of  the  commandant  at  this  post  to  prevent, 
for  the  traders  land  it  down  the  river,   and  have  a  thousand  tricks  to 


deceive  the  commandant  and  cheat  the  poor  savages.  The  traders  are 
generally  the  outcasts  of  all  nations  and  the  refuse  of  mankind.  The 
commandant  at  Detroit  has  no  power  to  punish  them,  but  they  should 
be  made  subject  to  him  while  at  this  post.  They  trade  on  the  river 
bank,  within  three  miles  of  the  post,  and  cheat  the  Indians  outrageous- 
ly. They  lodge  in  French  houses  while  so  doing,  and  conceal  their 
peltry  there  until  they  can  slip  it  into  the  fort  unobserved.  This  prac- 
tice cannot  be  prevented  until  the  commandant  has  authority  to.  lock 
these  fellows  up  and  send  them  back  to  New  York  or  to  Canada. " 

Even  Major  Bassett  had  his  enemies  among  the  settlers.  In  1773  a 
strip  of  land,  known  as  the  King's  Domain,  covered  twelve  acres  in 
front  of  the  fort  and  thirty  acres  back.  The  king's  garden  was  located 
in  this  tract  on  the  east  side  of  the  fort.  Major  Bassett  built  a  fence 
around  a  small  piece  of  ground  back  of  the  king's  garden,  making  a 
pasture  for  his  horse,  and  the  residents  immediately  made  loud  com- 
plaints that  he  was  taking  a  part  of  the  common.  He  wrote  to  Quebec 
for  authority  to  inclose  all  of  the  king's  domain  of  fortj^-two  acres, 
which  was  then  used  as  a  cow  and  sheep  pasture  by  the  residents,  say- 
ing that  it  would  be  valuable  ground  in  a  few  years ;  but  the  residents 
immediately  trumped  up  charges  that  he  was  trying  to  secure  the  land 
for  his  private  use.  It  would  seem  that  there  was  a  lack  of  skilled  arti- 
sans even  at  this  period,  for  the  letter  states  that  there  are  but  three 
"  joyners  "  among  the  soldiers,  and  "  they  are  the  worst  the  commandant 
ever  saw;  a  carpenter  cannot  be  had  for  a  dollar  a  day  and  his  keep." 

In  1774  John  Logan,  the  celebrated  Cayuga  chief,  came  to  Detroit. 
Early  in  that  year  several  members  of  his  family  had  been  killed  by 
traders  at  his  home  on  the  Muskingum,  in  the  southeast  portion  of  Ohio. 
He  had  previously  been  friendly  to  the  settlers,  but  after  this  terrible 
bereavement  he  took  the  warpath  and  killed  many  of  the  whites.  This 
gave  rise  to  what  is  known  as  Lord  Dunmore's  war,  which  began  and 
terminated  in  1774,  At  the  decisive  battle  of  Point  Pleasant  the  In- 
dians were  defeated  and  they  all  sued  for  peace  except  Logan,  who 
came  to  Detroit.  He  was  requested  to  come  to  Chillicothe,  where  a 
treaty  was  to  be  made,  but  he  refused,  and  then,  it  is  said,  delivered 
the  speech  which  ever  school  boy  knows.  To  drown  his  trouble  he 
took  to  drink  and  in  a  short  time  became  a  drunkard.  One  day,  in 
1780,  while  drunk,  he  felled  his  wife,  and,  supposing  he  had  killed  her, 
fled  from  Detroit  and  was  making  his  way  to  Sandusky,  when  he  was 
overtaken  near  the  shore  of  Lake  Erie  by  a  party  of  friendly  Indians. 


Supposing  that  they  were  avengers  on  his  trail  he  shot  at  them,  and 
was  killed  by  his  relative,  Tod-hah-dohs,  in  self  defense. 

In  1774  a  law  known  as  the  Quebec  act  was  passed  by  the  English 
parliament  for  the  government  of  all  the  British  colonies  west  of  New 
York,  north  of  the  Ohio  River  and  east  of  the  Mississippi.  It  was  an 
act  which  established  a  regime  something  between  a  feudal  system  and 
a  despotism.  It  was  evidently  the  intention  to  deprive  the  settlers  of 
the  benefits  of  the  English  law,  so  that  life  in  the  West  would  be  dis- 
tasteful to  colonists  and  prevent  them  from  filling  up  the  countr}'.  In 
substance,  the  act  placed  the  settlers  under  the  old  French  law  of  the 
province,  so  far  as  civil  matters  were  concerned,  and  under  the  Eng- 
lish law  in  criminal  cases.  No  man  in  parliament  nor  in  the  colonies 
knew  what  the  French  colonial  law  had  been,  because  no  special  code 
had  ever  been  enacted  for  the  colonies;  and  the  commandants  and  gov- 
ernors had  been  the  law  and  the  supreme  court.  This  law  was  one  of 
the  British  offenses  against  the  American  colonists  which  led  to  the 
Revolution.  Allusion  is  made  to  it  in  the  Declaration  of  Independ- 
ence, which  declares  that  the  crown  had  abolished  "the  free  syst^em  of 
English  laws  in  a  neighboring  province,  establishing  therein  an  arbi- 
trary government  so  as  to  render  it  an  example  and  a  fit  instrument  for 
introducing  the  same  absolute  rule  into  these  colonies."  In  spite  of  the 
efforts  of  Chatham  and  Camden,  who  were  ever  the  friends  of  liberty 
and  justice,  the  English  parliament  passed  this  obnoxious  act.  Some 
of  the  leaders  admitted  its  true  purpose,  holding  that  the  colonists  had 
few  rights  which  the  government  was  bound  to  respect,  and  that  the 
French  settlers  had  none.  All  of  the  oppression  of  the  crown  did  not 
suffice  to  keep  settlers  out  of  the  West,  and  three  years  after  the 
Pontiac  war  there  was  a  string  of  settlers'  cabins,  nearly  all  French, 
extending  for  twenty  miles  along  Detroit  River  and  Lake  St.  Clair,  and 
the  sites  of  these  early  settlements  may  be  located  at  the  present  day 
by  the  groups  of  ancient  French  pear  trees  which  are  to  be  found  at 
various  points  between  Grosse  Isle  and  Mt.  Clemens.  The  log  cabins 
have  disappeared,  but  some  of  the  pear  trees  which  once  grew  about 
their  doors  still  bear  fruit  for  the  benefit  of  the  present  generation. 




Obstructive  Legislation  and  Excessive  Taxation  Breed  Discontent — New  Eng- 
land Settlers  Rise  in  Rebellion — Detroit  Under  Lieut.-Gov.  Henry  Hamilton  Be- 
comes a  Fire  in  the  Rear — The  "Great  Hairbuyer"  and  His  Corrupt  Rule — 1773- 

In  anticipation  of  trouble  with  the  colonists  of  the  East,  the  fort  at 
Detroit  was  strengthened  in  1775  and  afterward  kept  in  good  repair. 

Even  before  the  war  of  the  Revolution  the  borders  of  Ohio  and 
Pennsylvania  were  filled  with  an  admixture  of  adventurous  pioneers 
and  bold  desperadoes.  The  former  attempted  to  found  settlements  and 
till  the  soil;  the  latter  preyed  upon  the  Indians,  hunting  them  like 
wild  beasts  and  robbing  their  villages.  They  were  as  cruel  as  the  sav- 
ages and  usually  scalped  their  victims.  Then  the  Indians  would  re- 
taliate by  murdering  the  settlers  and  the  latter  were  in  constant  peril. 
It  frequently  became  necessary  for  the  settlers  to  organize  sinall  war 
parties,  sally  forth  and  drive  the  Indians  back  in  order  to  secure  peace 
while  they  planted  and  harvested  their  crops.  Forays  were  constantly 
made  across  the  Ohio  River  into  Kentucky,  where  the  Virginians  were 
extending  their  settlements,  while  the  Pennsylvanians  extended  their 
colonies  westward  from  Fort  Pitt  or  Pittsburg.  Matters  became  so  bad 
that  Lord  Dunmore,  governor  of  Virginia,  raised  a  small  army  and 
placed  it  in  charge  of  General  Lewis  at  Fort  Pitt,  from  which  point  he 
made  campaigns  against  the  Indians  of  the  Ohio  valley.  As  soon  as 
the  Revolution  was  on  in  the  East,  the  British  began  to  stir  up  the  In- 
dians against  the  American  settlers  on  the  border.  They  told  the  sav- 
ages that  the  Americans  were  lawless  marauders  who  delighted  in 
murder,  and  who  were  plotting  against  the  life  of  their  father,  the 
great  king.  If  they  were  permitted  to  invade  the  West  they  would 
seize  Detroit  and  the  Ohio  country,  and  murder  all  the  residents.  At 
first  the  French  were  prejudiced  as  well  as  the  Indians.  It  required 
but  a  little  rum  and  a  few  presents  to  instigate  the  Indians  to  massacre 
the  American  settlers  wherever  they  were  to  be  found  on  the  border. 
No  sooner  had  it  become  evident  that  the  American  colonists  intended 


to  make  a  stand  for  their  rights  than  Great  Britain  began  to  prepare  for 
the  collision. 

At  the  very  outset  the  British  planned  to  strengthen  their  hold  in  the 
West,  so  that  they  would  be  able  to  attack  the  colonists  from  their 
western  frontier  as  well  as  from  the  seaboard.  Three  lieutenant-gov- 
ernors were  appointed  in  pursuance  of  this  scheme.  Capt.  Henry 
Hamilton  was  appointed  to  the  office  at  Detroit,  Capt.  Patrick  Sinclair 
to  Mackinaw,  and  Capt.  Edward  Abbott  to  Fort  Sackville  at  Vincennes. 
Earl  Dartmouth,  the  colonial  secretary,  made  these  appointments,  but 
he  did  not  clearly  define  the  functions  of  the  lieutenant-governors  and 
the  commandants  at  the  posts,  so  that  a  series  of  quarrels  occurred  at 
each  place  over  questions  of  authority.  Each  of  the  appointees  had 
more  liking  for  the  perquisites  and  salary  of  the  respective  posts  than  for 
the  duties,  and  each  laid  claim  to  the  revenues  dating  from  May  1, 
1775,  although  they  did  not  go  to  their  commands  until  six  months 
later.  Hamilton,  in  fact,  took  all  the  revenues  of  the  post  and  inaugu- 
rated a  system  of  plunder  with  the  notorious  "Chief  Justice"  Philip 
Dejean  as  his  accomplice.  As  local  magistrate  the  lieutenant-governor 
had  jurisdiction  over  petty  civil  cases  only.  All  criminal  cases  were 
under  jurisdiction  of  the  court  at  Quebec.  Hamilton,  through  his  ally 
Dejean,  abused  his  authority,  oppressed  the  debtors,  foreclosed  mort- 
gages in  summary  fashion  and  bled  the  people  to  the  limit  by  means 
of  fines.  Jonas  Schindler,  a  traveling  jeweler  from  Montreal,  was 
charged  with  selling  alloyed  silver  for  pure  metal,  but  a  jury  acquitted 
him.  In  spite  of  this  acquittal  Hamilton  ordered  Schindler  to  be 
dressed  in  fantastic  fashion  and  drummed  out  of  town,  and  he  was 
marched  through  all  the  public  streets,  preceded  by  a  drum  corps. 
Captain  Lord,  the  commandant,  was  indignant  at  this  breach  of  justice 
When  the  drum  corps  and  the  abused  Schindler  came  to  the  gate  of 
the  inner  fort,  Lord  barred  the  way  and  said  that  he  was  in  command 
of  the  fort  and  would  permit  no  such  outrage  to  be  perpetrated  on 
ground  where  he  held  command.  A  man  named  Joseph  Hecker  mur- 
dered Moran,  his  brother-in-law,  and  according  to  law  he  should  have 
been  examined  and  then  sent  to  Quebec  for  trial,  but  Dejean,  with 
Hamilton's  sanction,  tried  and  convicted  the  culprit  and  hanged  him  at 
Detroit.  Jean  Constanciau,  a  French  resident,  and  a  negress  named 
Ann  Wiley,  were  convicted  of  robbing  a  store  of  furs  and  other  goods. 
Dejean  tried  them  and  sentenced  them  to  be  hanged,  but  not  a  man  in 
Detroit  could  be  found  to  execute  the  sentence.     In  this  emergency 


Hamilton  offered  the  negress  her  freedom  and  full  pardon  if  she  would 
hang  the  Frenchman,  and  she  consented.  The  job  was  done  in  bung- 
ling fashion  and  the  unfortunate  thief  was  slowly  strangled.  The 
records  of  these  proceedings  were  suppressed  by  Dejean,  and  it  was  four 
years  later  when  the  reports  of  their  doings  came  to  the  governor- 
general  at  Quebec  Dejean  appears  to  have  been  a  man  without 
scruples.  Through  some  mysterious  influence  which  has  never  been 
understood  he  appeared  to  enjoy  the  protection  of  the  commandants, 
who  made  him  the  legal  factotum  of  the  post,  with  supreme  power  in 
civil  cases.  The  colonists  were  bitterly  opposed  to  him,  and  they  drew 
up  a  long  petition  asking  for  his  removal  on  the  ground  that  he  was  ex- 
tortionate in  his  charges  for  legal  services,  merciless  in  his  fines,  and 
dishonest  generally,  showing  favors  to  his  friends  and  visiting  his 
judicial  wrath  upon  his  opponents.  The  petition,  which  was  forward- 
ed to  the  governor-general,  was  signed  by  nearly  every  white  resident 
at  Detroit.  But  Dejean  was  not  removed  and  he  remained  in  power 
eleven  years.  It  is  probable  that  his  remarkable  influence  was  due 
to  a  tacit  partnership  with  each  succeeding  commandant,  and  that  he 
divided  with  them  the  spoils  of  his  office.  Among  the  Canadian 
archives  pertaining  to  Detroit  is  a  record  of  a  grand  jury  investigation 
held  in  the  Court  of  King's  Bench  at  Montreal,  September  7,  1778. 
The  investigation  resulted  in  an  indictment  against  Philip  Dejean,  who 
at  various  times  during  the  years  1775  and  1776  was  charged  with  com- 
mitting "divers  unjust  and  illegal  tyrannical  and  felonious  acts  con- 
trary to  good  government."  Lieutenant-Governor  Henry  Hamilton, 
having  knowledge  of  these  transactions  at  the  time,  was  also  indicted. 
When  the  officers  came  to  Detroit  to  arrest  them  both  men  were  at 
Vincennes,  and  when  they  returned  to  British  soil  in  1780,  after  their 
captivity,  the  case  was  not  pressed. 



Hamilton  Arms  the  Indians  and  Sets  Them  on  the  Ohio  Settlers— Human  Scalps 
luring  /^l  Each  in  the  Detroit  Commandant's  Office — Philip  Dejean,  Hamilton's 
Unscrupulous  "Chief  Justice" — 1776-1777. 

When  the  Revolution  had  begun  in  earnest  Detroit  became  a  center 
of  activity,  and  although  the  rough  edges  of  battle  never  reached  the 
settlement,  the  post  played  a  most  important  part  in  the  war  on  the 
borders.  Hamilton  wanted  to  employ  the  Indians  as  a  fire-in-the-rear 
with  which  to  gall  the  colonists  of  the  East,  but  Sir  Guy  Carleton, 
governor-general,  opposed  the  proposition,  because  he  knew  that  the 
savages  could  not  be  controlled,  and  that  they  would  inflict  awful  bar 
barities  upon  the  helpless  and  inoffensive  as  well  as  upon  prisoners  of 
war.  He  was  over-ruled  by  Lord  George  Germain,  who  wrote  to  him 
saying  that  "  Divine  Providence  had  placed  the  Indians  in  the  hands 
of  Great  Britain  as  fitting  instruments  for  punishing  the  rebels." 
Nothing  could  be  done  with  the  Indians  without  rum,  presents  and 
feasting,  so  rum  came  into  Detroit  in  great  quantities  for  free  distri- 
bution among  the  savages.  Barbecues  were  held  at  which  their  glut- 
tonous appetites  were  sated,  and  rifles,  scalping  knives  with  crimson 
handles,  powder,  ball  and  hatchets  were  distributed  with  a  lavish  hand. 
Public  mass  meetings  were  held,  at  which  the  Indians  were  told  that 
the  Americans  were  a  dangerous  and  wicked  people,  who  conspired 
against  their  great  father  the  king,  and  who  would  drive  the  Indians 
out  of  the  country  and  seize  all  their  lands,  unless  the  Indians  would 
aid  the  British  in  exterminating  those  along  the  border.  Weapons 
were  presented  with  a  show  of  formality,  which  helped  to  captivate  the 
Indians.  Hamilton  would  clasp  hands  with  a  savage  chief  and  grasp- 
ing the  scalping  knife  or  hatchet,  would  say:  "  We  are  friends  in  peace 
and  in  war;  your  enemies  are  our  enemies,  and  we  will  work  together 
for  their  destruction.  The  great  Manitou  will  aid  you  when  you  go 
forth  with  your  father's  weapons."  At  a  barbecue  when  several  hun- 
dred Indians  would  be  seated  in  a  great  circle  about  a  roasted  ox,  the 
head  of  the  ox  would  be  set  on  a  pole  and  a  hatchet  would  be  driven 


into  the  skull.  Then  bearers  would  march  around  the  circle  with  this 
trophy  representing  the  head  of  an  American,  and  Hamilton  would  fol- 
low it  chanting-  a  war  song  in  Indian  fashion.  Captain  Lord,  the  com- 
mandant, was  constantly  quarreling  with  Hamilton  over  the  propriety 
of  such  proceedings,  and  he  was  finally  sent  away  to  Niagara.  Capt. 
Richard  Beranger  Lernoult  was  transferred  from  Niagara  to  Detroit, 
and  was  made  a  major  in  the  summer  of  1779.  Indians  would  gather 
at  Detroit  by  the  thousand,  but  it  was  impossible  to  get  them  to  make 
raids  against  the  American  settlers  unless  they  were  accompanied  by 
British  leaders.  They  preferred  to  idle  about  the  post,  drinking  rum 
and  eating  roast  ox,  rather  than  undergo  the  privations  of  campaign- 
ing. They  were  soon  consuming  forty  barrels  of  rum  a  month  at  De- 
troit, and  the  quantity  was  later  increased  to  sixty  barrels.  Prisoners 
were  troublesome,  as  they  involved  much  expense  for  their  keeping,  as 
they  had  to  be  sent  to  Montreal  or  Quebec  for  confinement.  Hamilton 
instructed  the  Indians  that  scalps  would  be  less  troublesome  than  pris- 
oners, and  they  were  quick  to  take  the  hint.  From  the  beginning  of 
the  war  Detroit  was  a  great  rendezvous,  and  the  formal  councils  of  the 
tribes  with  the  military  authorities  were  of  almost  daily  occurrence. 
Then  would  follow  the  distribution  of  presents  consisting  of  guns, 
powder,  lead,  provisions,  cloth  for  the  squaws  and  children,  and  rum. 
When  a  large  bod}^  of  savages  had  been  worked  up  to  a  fighting  frenzy, 
they  would  set  out  for  the  Ohio,  Pennsylvania  or  Virginia  wilderness, 
led  either  by  the  three  Girty  brothers,  Simon,  James  and  George, 
Capt.  Henry  Bird,  John  Butler,  and  William  Caldwell,  of  the  regulars, 
or  Captains  Alexander  McKee,  Mathew  Elliott,  Chene,  Dequindre,  or 
La  Motte,  of  the  Indian  and  French  militia.  Arrived  at  the  American 
settlements,  these  bands  always  indulged  in  a  general  massacre.  Then 
they  would  return  to  Detroit,  the  braves  carrying  long  poles  on  which 
gory  scalps  were  strung.  Their  appearance  was  greeted  with  cheers 
and  they  were  received  as  conquering  heroes.  After  receiving  liberal 
rewards  for  their  scalps,  and  rum  enough  for  a  wild  debauch,  fresh 
supplies  of  ammunition  would  be  dealt  out  and  they  would  go  out  for 
another  raid. 

As  Detroit  was  the  key  to  the  West,  great  caution  was  observed  in 
keeping  it  well  prepared  for  attack,  and  at  times  the  military  force 
numbered  five  hundred  men.  Cordial  relations  never  existed  between 
the  majority  of  the  French  and  the  British,  and  many  of  the  former 
sympathized  with  the  Americans   and   hoped   for  their   success;    still 


there  were  a  few  who  fought  as  officers  and  common  soldiers  in  the 
British  war.  Some  were  indiscreet  enough  to  air  their  American  lean- 
ings, and  several  were  imprisoned  for  so  doing.  Others  were  dismissed 
from  the  settlement  and  went  away  to  the  Illinois  country,  while  a  few 
were  sent  away  as  prisoners  to  Niagara  and  Montreal.  When  the  British 
and  their  Indian  allies  were  preparing  for  a  raid  upon  some  American 
settlement,  the  French  sometimes  succeeded  in  warning  the  Americans 
of  their  intentions  and  thus  prevented  a  surprise.  Orders  were  re- 
ceived from  Quebec  to  treat  such  persons  as  spies  and  hang  them. 
James  Sterling,  the  merchant  who  married  Mile.  Cuillerier,  was  pro- 
scribed for  his  known  sympathies  with  the  rebels  and  had  to  leave  the 
settlement.  Sometimes  the  Indians  would  come  back  with  prisoners 
and  proceed  to  torture  them,  and  frightful  barbarities  were  performed 
within  sight  of  the  fort,  and  with  the  knowledge  of  the  lieutenant- 
governor.  One  day  a  prisoner  had  been  terribly  beaten  with  clubs  in 
running  the  gauntlet,  and  had  suffered  numerous  wounds,  when  the 
savages  tied  him  to  a  stake  and  began  to  burn  him  alive.  A  humane 
citizen  rushed  in  and  cut  his  bonds  in  spite  of  the  threats  of  the  sav- 
ages. He  supported  the  unhappy  wretch  to  his  own  home  and  after- 
ward concealed  him  from  the  Indians  in  a  vacant  building.  The 
savages  made  a  great  outcry  against  this  interference  with  their  time- 
honored  customs,  and  complained  to  Hamilton  and  Dejean,  Next 
morning  Dejean  arrested  the  rescuer,  and  searched  out  the  victim  who 
had  been  doomed  to  the  torture  in  order  to  deliver  him  over  to  the  In- 
dians, but  the  poor  fellow  died  of  his  injuries  before  the  torture  could 
be  resumed.  Hamilton  called  the  humane  citizen  before  him  and 
threatened  him  with  imprisonment  if  he  ever  dared  to  interfere  with 
the  practices  of  the  savages  again. 

In  the  year  1777  steps  were  taken  toward  the  establishment  of  a 
navy  on  Lakes  Erie,  Huron  and  Michigan,  and  Governor-General  Guy 
Carleton  issued  an  order,  dated  at  Quebec,  October  20,  providing  that 
the  navy  should  be  officered.  The  pay  of  the  commander-in-chief  was 
fixed  at  fifteen  shillings  a  day;  masters,  ten  shillings;  lieutenants  of 
various  grades,  six  shillings,  four  shillings  and  six  pence,  and  three 
shillings  and  six  pence. 

In  1777,  a  commission  was  issued  to  Normand  McLeod,  creating  him 
"town  major,"  by  authority  of  Henry  Hamilton,  lieutenant-governor 
and  superintendent  of  Detroit  and  dependencies.  The  commission 
bore  the  signatures  of  Henry  Hamilton  and  Philip  Dejean. 


Hamilton's  chief  instruments  of  destruction  against  the  Americans 
were  Alexander  McKee,  Matthew  Elliott  and  Simon  Girty,  three  men 
who  deserted  from  the  American  garrison  of  General  Lewis  at  Fort 
Pitt.  McKee  was  the  leader  in  this  desertion.  He  was  an  Indian  agent 
in  the  pay  of  the  British  government,  and  it  was  learned  that  he  was 
holding  out  various  inducements  to  persuade  the  American  soldiers 
to  desert.  He  was  arrested  and  placed  on  parole,  but  on  the  night  of 
March  28,  1778,  McKee,  Elliott  and  Girty,  accompanied  by  a  man 
named  Higgins,  and  two  negroes,  escaped  into  the  wilderness  and  made 
their  way  to  Detroit.  In  Detroit  plans  were  laid  for  organizing  the 
Indians  of  the  territory  now  covered  by  Ohio,  Indiana,  Illinois  and 
Michigan  into  a  confederacy  for  a  war  against  the  American  settlers. 
Girty  had  been  brought  up  among  the  Seneca  or  Mingo  Indians,  in  the 
Hocking  Valley,  and  was  accustomed  to  barbarous  surroundings.  He 
spoke  several  Indian  dialects  and  was  very  influential  with  the  savages. 
He  made  his  home  among  the  Wyandottes  at  Upper  Sandusky,  near 
the  present  site  of  Fremont,  Ohio,  and  acted  under  immediate  direction 
of  McKee  and  Elliott.  Girty  had  two  brothers,  James  and  George,  who 
were  also  made  Indian  agents.  Tradition  has  it  that  Girty,  who  was 
always  a  tory  a  heart,  had  been  rebuked  at  Fort  Pitt  by  General  Lewis, 
who  called  him  a  traitor,  and  that  Girty  retorted  that  if  any  one  was  a 
traitor  it  was  General  Lewis.  The  general,  who  was  a  passionate  man, 
struck  Girty  over  the  head  with  his  cane,  drawing  a  stream  of  blood. 
Girty  rushed  to  the  door  of  the  general's  quarters  and  turning  said : 
"  Your  quarters  shall  yet  swim  in  blood  for  this."  An  instant  later  he 
had  plunged  into  the  forest. 

Historians  in  speaking  of  Girty  have  usually  called  him  a  renegade, 
but  he  called  himself  a  tory.  It  is  certain  that  he  was  a  scourge  to  the 
Ohio  and  Pennsylvania  settlers  for  years  after,  and  he  organized  and 
led  some  of  the  bloodiest  Indian  raids  in  the  history  of  the  countrv. 
In  the  fall  of  1778  Simon  Kenton,  a  pioneer  of  great  renown,  had  set 
out  from  the  Kentucky  shore  with  a  few  daring  hunters  to  attack  the 
Indians  on  the  north  side  of  the  Ohio;  he  was  captured  and  condemned 
to  death  at  the  stake.  Girty  and  he  had  been  boys  together  and  three 
times  within  a  few  days  did  Girty  save  him  from  death  by  torture.  He 
was  finally  brought  to  Detroit,  but  escaped  and  went  back  to  his  home 
where  he  had  been  given  up  as  dead.  That  same  summer  Daniel 
Boone,  the  great  Kentucky  pioneer,  was  captured  while  in  company 
with  several  other  settlers  who  were  boiling  salt  at  Blue  Lick  Springs. 


He  was  broug-ht  to  Detroit  with  the  Indians  when  they  returned  north- 
ward with  their  customary  spoils.  Captain  Lernoult,  the  commandant, 
offered  to  buy  him  from  his  captors,  but  the  Indians  refused  to  give  up 
so  noted  a  captive  and  took  Boone  back  to  Chillicothe,  whence  he 
made  his  escape  to  Kentucky. 

In  1778  John  Butler,  a  tory  who  had  formerly  lived  in  Wyoming 
valley,  Pa.,  went  from  Detroit,  accompanied  by  Captain  Bird  and  a 
company  of  rangers,  to  make  an  attack  upon  his  old  neighbors.  Most 
of  the  able  bodied  men  in  the  valley  were  away  in  the  American  army, 
but  the  residents  fled  to  the  fort.  When  Butler  appeared  with  a  horde 
of  yelling  savages  at  his  heels  they  feared  to  surrender.  Only  a  part 
of  the  attacking  force  showed  itself  and  it  soon  retired  to  entice  the  of- 
fenders outside.  A  party  of  two  hundred  men  set  out  in  pursuit,  and 
suddenly  found  themselves  surrounded  by  Indians.  In  a  short  time 
the  Indians  returned  to  the  fort  with  196  scalps,  and  again  demanded 
a  surrender.  The  fort  was  set  on  fire,  and  some  of  the  inmates  perished 
in  the  flames  rather  than  risk  a  death  by  torture.  Another  raid  was 
made  into  the  adjoining  Cherry  Valley  and  more  scalps  were  taken. 
For  this  and  other  services  Butler  was  given  the  rank  of  a  colonel,  an 
annual  pension  of  $2,500  and  a  tract  of  5,000  acres  of  land.  Captain 
Bird,  who  took  part  in  this  and  many  other  bloody  raids  against  the 
American  settlers,  is  described  as  a  man  of  repulsive  appearance,  with 
a  very  red  face,  prominent  teeth  and  a  hair  lip.  He  was  unfortunate 
in  love,  and  his  fellow  officers  twitted  him  with  it,  and  this  it  is  said 
led  him  to  ask  and  obtain  command  of  military  sevices  that  would  di- 
vert his  mind  from  his  disappointments. 

An  attack  upon  Detroit  was  planned  at  Fort  Pitt  in  1778.  In  the 
same  year  Generals  Gibson  and  Mcintosh,  under  directions  from  Gen. 
George  Washington,  erected  a  fort  at  Beaver  Creek  and  another  on  the 
Tuscarawas  River,  both  in  southern  Ohio.  The  first  was  named  Fort 
Mcintosh  and  the  latter  Fort  Laurens.  General  Gibson  remained 
through  the  winter  at  Fort  Laurens.  He  intended  to  set  out  for 
Detroit  in  the  spring,  but  by  spies  or  treason,  his  intentions  became 
known  to  the  British,  and  Simon  Girty  with  a  force  of  800  Indians 
started  from  Detroit  with  the  intention  of  capturing  Fort  Laurens.  He 
and  Gibson  hated  each  other  cordially,  and  each  longed  for  the  scalp  of 
the  other.  Meanwhile  intelligence  of  Girty's  approach  had  come  to 
David  Zeisberger,  the  Moravian  missionary  at  Gnadenhutten,  which 
was  situated  not  far  from  the  fort.     His  informant  was  a  Delaware 


Indian.  Zeisberger,  who  sympathized  with  the  Americans,  wrote  a 
letter  to  Gibson  cautioning  him  to  keep  close  to  the  fort,  as  he  would 
soon  be  attacked.  The  warning,  however,  was  disregarded,  and  Gib- 
son sent  a  detachment  to  Fort  Mcintosh  for  provisions.  They  were 
attacked  on  their  return  when  within  sight  of  the  fort,  the  supplies 
captured  and  two  were  killed,  four  wounded,  and  one  taken  prisoner. 
Letters  to  General  Gibson  were  also  captured  which  gave  full  details 
of  the  projected  attack  on  Detroit.  Girty's  Indians  besieged  the  fort, 
but  in  a  few  days  went  away.  Meanwhile  Captain  Bird  and  120  sav- 
ages arrived  on  February  22,  and  lay  in  ambush  near  the  fort.  A 
wagoner  and  eighteen  men,  who  had  been  sent  out  to  get  wood,  were 
attacked  and  all  killed  and  scalped,  except  two.  Bird  conducted  the 
siege  for  four  weeks,  but  was  unsuccessful.  Had  he  persevered  a  few 
days  more  he  would  have  captured  the  fort,  as  the  garrison  was  nearly 
starved  when  he  left. 

In  the  summer  of  1779  the  garrison  of  Detroit  was  reinforced  by  200 
troops  from  Niagara  In  time  Girty  advanced  toward  Fort  Pitt,  but 
Heckewelder,  the  Moravian  missionary  at  Salem,  warned  General 
Brodhead,  the  American  commandant.  This  was  discovered  by  Girty 
and  he  ordered  a  young  brave  to  kill  Heckewelder,  but  Captain  Pipe, 
a  Delaware  chief,  told  the  brave  to  let  the  missionary  alone  and  the 
latter  was  saved.  In  April,  1779,  Girty  and  Bird  made  another  raid 
from  Detroit  on  Fort  Henry  (Wheeling,  W.  Va. ),  but  they  failed  and 
raised  the  siege.  At  that  time  there  was  an  emigration  of  settlers  from 
Pennsylvania  and  Virginia  to  "  Kentuck,"  as  Kentucky  was  then  called, 
and  300  canoe  loads  of  emigrants  and  their  effects  landed  at  Louisville 
during  that  year.  Girty's  men  would  lie  concealed  on  the  banks  of  the 
river,  and  as  the  boats  were  passing  they  would  cry  out  for  help.  Three 
boats  containing  twenty-four  people  were  thus  lured  by  the  cries  to  the 
shore,  when  they  were  set  upon  and  most  of  the  party  slaughtered. 
Peter  Malott  escaped  by  swimming  to  the  other  shore,  but  his  wife, 
his  daughter  Catherine  and  two  small  children,  were  taken  prisoners. 
The  two  small  children  were  killed,  but  Mrs.  Malott  and  Catherine 
were  captives  in  the  Wyandotte  village  at  Upper  Sandusky  for  some 
time.  Subsequently  Catherine  became  Mrs.  Simon  Girty,  and  the 
marriage  took  place  at  Detroit. 

The  British  forts  or  outposts,  from  which  expeditions  were  sent 
against  the  rebel  colonists  in  the  Ohio  valley  and  Kentucky,  were  Kas- 
kaskia.  111.,  Vincennes,  Ind.,  and  Detroit.      Kaskaskia  was  founded  by 


La  Salle  in  1682  and  consisted  of  a  log  fort  and  the  houses  of  a  few 
traders  and  farmers.  The  first  French  residents  there  became  assimi- 
lated with  the  Indian  tribes,  but  the  later  British  settlers  had  withstood 
the  influence  of  barbarism.  Vincennes  was  the  seat  of  a  French  Jesuit 
mission  as  early  as  1702,  and  it  had  become  a  post  of  some  importance. 

As  soon  as  the  British  colonies  demonstrated  their  strength,  a  tacit 
agreement  came  into  existence  between  England  and  Spain  that  the 
colonists  must  not  extend  their  borders  beyond  the  Alleghany  Moun- 
tains, and  the  British  undertook  the  task  of  keeping  them  back.  Ex- 
peditions were  fitted  out  at  Detroit,  Vincennes  and  Kaskaskia  to  drive 
them  out  of  the  Ohio  Valley.  A  hundred  or  more  British  soldiers  would 
set  out  for  the  valley,  gathering  Indians  as  they  went,  and  each  expe- 
dition was  a  campaign  of  blood  and  murder,  with  all  the  atrocities  of 
savage  warfare. 

Quite  a  number  of  vessels  plied  the  lakes  in  the  early  years  of  the 
English  rule.  During  the  Pontiac  war  the  schooner  Gladwin  and  the 
sloops  Beaver  and  Bear,  helped  to  keep  communication  between  De- 
troit and  Niagara.  In  1777  a  small  fleet  could  assemble  at  Detroit  in 
support  of  the  fort,  including  His  Majesty's  ship  Gage,  armed  with  six- 
teen carriage  guns,  six  swivels  and  forty-eight  men; -H.  M.  S.  Dun- 
more,  twelve  guns,  four  swivels  and  thirty-six  men;  the  schooner 
Ottawa,  twelve  guns,  and  six  swivel  blunderbusses  and  thirty-six  men  ; 
the  schooner  Wyandotte,  four  guns,  six  swivels  and  fourteen  men;  the 
schooner  Hope,  six  guns  and  eighteen  men;  and  the  sloops  Angelica, 
Faith,  Welcome,  Adventure,  Archangel  and  Galley.  In  the  spring  of 
1780  the  Wyandotte  went  ashore  on  the  east  side  of  Lake  Huron,  but 
the  Welcome  went  to  her  assistance  and  she  was  hauled  off  safely  with 
her  cargo.  The  Angelica  got  aground  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  and 
she  had  to  be  lightered  by  bateaux.  The  Dunmore,  Wyandotte,  Gage, 
Felicity  and  the  Ottawa,  made  trips  between  Detroit  and  Mackinaw, 
but  most  of  the  other  crafts  were  too  small  to  be  trusted  in  such  stormy 
waters.  They  coasted  along  Lake  Erie  carrying  goods  and  military 
supplies  between  Detroit,  the  Miami  fort  on  the  Maumee,  Sandusky, 
Erie  and  Niagara. 

Late  in  the  fall  of  1778  General  Brodhead,  of  the  Continental  army, 
advanced  into  Ohio  with  a  large  force  of  men,  estimated  at  between 
2,000  and  3,000.  It  was  feared  that  he  was  on  his  way  to  attack  Detroit 
and  there  was  considerable  consternation  among  the  British.  Captain 
Lernoult,  who  had  been  promoted  to  major,  when  he  arrived  at  Detroit, 


realized  that  Fort  Detroit,  while  a  fairly  safe  refuge  from  hostile  Indians, 
could  not  be  held  against  an  enemy  supplied  with  artillery,  as  the  hill 
on  the  north  side  of  the  Savoyard  Creek  was  somewhat  higher  than  the 
fort.  He  saw  that  an  enemy  could  throw  up  earthworks  there  and 
mount  a  battery,  which  would  soon  make  kindling  wood  of  the  older 
fortification.  After  consulting  with  his  officers  Major  Lernoult  decided 
that  no  time  must  be  lost,  although  Lieut.  Henry  Du  Vernet,  the  only 
competent  engineer  of  the  post,  was  absent  at  Vincennes.  In  his  ab- 
sence Capt.  Henry  Bird  went  that  evening  to  the  hill  and  traced  a  square 
outline  on  the  ground  for  a  new  fort,  where  the  new  government  build- 
ing now  stands.  Later  he  added  four  half  bastions,  so  as  to  afford 
flanking  protection  against  attacks  on  the  gates.  This  redoubt  was 
built  with  clay  walls  ten  feet  thick,  and  the  clay  was  bound  by  layers 
of  brush  and  cedar  posts  every  three  feet  and  the  earth  was  well  rammed. 
The  glacis  was  beset  with  sharpened  stakes,  and  the  foot  of  it  was  pro- 
tected by  abatis  of  felled  trees  with  the  limbs  trimmed  and  sharpened. 
To  prevent  the  slopes  from  being  washed  away  by  the  rains,  they  were 
sodded,  but  during  that  winter  and  during  all  the  following  spring  the 
embankments  washed  and  slid  into  the  ditch  in  exasperating  fashion. 
When  Lieutenant  Du  Vernet  returned  the  new  fort  was  too  far  ad- 
vanced to  be  altered,  although  it  was  faulty  in  many  respects.  On  the 
south  side  of  the  fort  a  subterranean  magazine  of  stone  was  built;  it 
lay  at  the  foot  of  the  glacis  and  a  short  distance  from  it  so  that  in  case 
of  an  explosion  those  in  the  fort  would  not  suffer.  It  was  arched  with 
stone  over  the  top  and  an  underground  passage  led  from  the  fort  to  its 
interior.  The  magazine  was  situated  not  far  from  the  south  side  of 
Fort  street,  and  at  a  point  perhaps  150  feet  west  of  Shelby  street.  In 
consequence  of  the  slope  of  the  ground  at  the  time  when  the  fort  was 
built  the  top  of  the  magazine  was  below  the  ground  level  of  the  inter- 
ior of  the  fort.  The  work  on  the  fort  was  constant  from  the  middle  of 
November  until  February,  but  the  alarm  proved  to  be  groundless,  as 
Brodhead  did  not  come  nearer  Detroit  than  ninety  miles  down  the 
Maumee  Valley.  When  George  Rogers  Clark  heard  that  Fort  Lernoult 
had  been  added  to  the  other  fortifications  at  Detroit,  he  sent  a  letter  by 
a  prisoner  whom  he  had  taken  in  southern  Ohio,  thanking  Lernoult  for 
the  new  work.  He  said  that  the  new  fort  would  save  the  Americans 
the  trouble  of  building  much  needed  improvements  at  Detroit  when  it 
would  presently  come  into  their  hands. 

The  British  expedition  which  left  Detroit  in  1778-79,  and  ravaged 


the  entire  Ohio  valley,  is  familiar  histor)^,  and  the  bloody  tragedies  at 
Boonesboro  and  Harrodsburg,  Ky,,  are  among  the  most  horrible  events 
of  the  period.  It  was  this  series  of  raids  which  instigated  Clark,  then 
a  colonel  and  afterward  a  general,  in  the  Continental  army,  to  under- 
take the  capture  of  the  seat  of  trouble  in  the  North.  He  was  opposed 
by  the  border  settlers  because  they  thought  that  he  would  only  bring 
more  troubles  upon  them,  and  he  had  a  host  of  personal  enemies  who 
interfered  with  his  plans,  but  he  organized  a  company  of  500  rangers 
and  struck  out  into  the  wilderness.  His  first  campaign  was  on  the 
northern  Ohio  shore,  where  he  laid  waste  several  Indian  villages  in 
the  Muskingum  valley.  Those  Indians  were  quiet  for  a  long  time 
after.  Next  he  invaded  the  Miami  and  Scioto  valleys,  with  1,000 
mounted  riflemen,  and  destroyed  several  Indian  towns,  striking  terror 
into  the  heart  of  the  savage. 


Gen.  George  Rogers  Clark  Captures  Vincennes  and  Other  British  Posts — Hamilton 
Goes  to  Recover  Them  and  is  Captured — He  Narrowly  Escapes  Hanging  at  the 
Hands  of  the  Colonists— 1778-1779. 

In  the  fall  of  1778  Gen,  George  Rogers  Clark  set  out  with  about  500 
men  to  make  a  secret  raid  into  the  Illinois  country,  for  the  purpose  of 
capturing  Kaskaskia,  Kahokia,  and  Vincennes  before  they  could  be  re- 
inforced from  Detroit.  He  expected  that  his  success  would  give  him 
a  prestige  with  Congress  that  would  result  in  a  more  pretentious  expe- 
dition against  Detroit,  the  center  of  disturbance.  He  believed  that 
that  stronghold,  if  in  the  hands  of  the  Americans,  would  prevent  the 
British  from  stirring  up  the  Indians  against  the  settlers.  The  perilous 
nature  of  Clark's  project  was  well  understood  by  his  men,  who  were  mere 
rangers  and  woodsmen  without  much  military  training,  and  they  de- 
serted in  large  numbers.  Col.  Archibald  Lochry,  who  attempted  to 
follow  him  in  canoes  with  a  force  of  100  volunteers  from  Westmore- 
land, Pa.,  was  attacked  on  the  Ohio  River  by  an  army  of  Miamis  and 
Shawnees,  which  had  been  sent  out  from  Detroit  under  Joseph  Brant  and 
George  Girty.  The  American  party  was  utterly  destroyed,  none  of  the 
troops  returning  to  tell  the  tale. 


It  would  require  a  vast  amount  of  research  to  make  an  exact  enumer- 
ation of  all  the  raids  sent  out  from  Detroit,  and  the  counter  raids  or- 
ganized in  Pittsburg-,  Louisville  and  Virginia  against  Detroit  during 
the  Revolutionary  war.  None  of  the  latter  were  formidable  until 
attempts  were  made  by  Harmar,  St.  Clair  and  Wayne,  but  Gen.  George 
Rogers  Clark  was  for  more  than  five  years  a  cause  of  great  anxiety  to 
Hamilton  and  De  Peyster.  British  spies  brought  the  information  that 
the  capture  of  Detroit  was  the  pet  scheme  of  this  dashing  commander, 
who  never  had  a  disciplined  body  of  men,  but  was  apparently  invinci- 
ble when  he  set  out  for  a  raid.  The  French  residents  of  Detroit,  who 
sympathized  with  the  American  cause,  would  taunt  the  British  soldiers 
and  Indian  agents  when  they  came  back  from  their  raids  with  the 
bloody  trophies  of  war,  saying:  "Wait  until  old  Clark  brings  his 
rangers  to  Detroit  and  you  will  see  some  scalping  of  another  sort. 
Clark  will  one  day  nail  all  your  scalps  against  the  wall  of  the  fort." 

There  was  good  reason  for  the  hesitation  of  the  Americans  in  attack- 
ing Detroit,  for  such  an  enterprise  meant  a  march  through  a  wilderness 
of  300  or  400  miles,  through  which  there  were  no  roads  available  for 
wagon  trains  or  for  the  hauling  of  artillery.  This  was  the  least  of  the 
difficulties.  This  region  was  occupied  by  perhaps  3,000  hostile  Indians. 
Most  of  them  were  pledged  to  the  British  cause;  and  those  who  were 
not  would  resent  an  invasion  of  Americans.  The  long  march  thus 
promised  to  be  a  series  of  ambuscades  to  the  invading  force.  The 
British,  on  the  other  hand,  could  proceed  through  the  country  of  their 
allies  secure  from  attack,  and  their  forces,  instead  of  being  constantly 
lessened  by  fighting,  would  be  constantly  augmented  by  additions  of 
Indian  warriors.  This  in  part  explains  why  Detroit  was  so  long  un- 
disturbed by  an  invasion  from  the  south  and  east.  The  British  had 
absolute  control  of  the  lakes  so  that  an  expedition  by  water  was  out  of 
the  question.  With  a  constantly  diminishing  force  of  men  Clark  marched 
through  the  wilderness  of  Illinois,  coming  upon  Kaskaskia,  in  Illinois, 
with  a  complete  surprise.  The  settlers  and  soldiers  in  the  Illinois  set- 
tlements were  terror  stricken  in  consequence  of  the  tales  of  ferocity 
they  had  heard  regarding  the  "Long  Knives,"  as  the  Kentuckians 
were  called.  Most  of  them  hid  in  their  cellars,  and  a  delegation  of 
Frenchmen  came  to  Clark  offering  themselves  as  slaves  if  the  "  Long 
Knives "  would  spare  their  lives  and  those  of  their  families.  They 
were  told  that  they  should  come  to  no  harm  if  they  submitted  peace- 
ably.    General  Clark  compelled  them  to  keep  within  doors  until  the 


fort  and  all  the  arms  of  the  place  were  turned  over  to  his  troops.  Then 
he  sent  word  to  the  settlers  that  they  mig-ht  go  about  their  regular 
business  in  perfect  security.  The  announcement  was  received  with 
cheers  of  delight.  The  French  denounced  the  English  as  liars  and 
swore  allegiance  to  the  Americans.  When  they  learned  that  Kahokia, 
further  up  the  Kaskaskia  River,  and  Vincennes  were  also  to  be  taken, 
they  wanted  to  send  messengers  who  would  inform  the  people  at  those 
posts  of  the  true  character  of  the  "Long  Knives."  But  Clark  was 
still  suspicious  and  he  kept  the  French  in  his  rear  until  he  had  sur- 
prised Kahokia.  This  capture  was  as  easy  as  that  of  Kaskaskia.  Clark 
then  allowed  a  delegation  of  French  to  go  to  Vincennes  to  notify  the 
people  of  his  approach  and  of  his  good  will  toward  them.  Vincennes 
surrendered  without  striking  a  blow,  and  so  loyal  did  the  French 
appear  that  Fort  Sackville,  as  the  fortification  was  called,  was  left  in 
charge  of  Captain  Leonard  Helm  and  a  private  named  Moses  Henry, 
in  the  belief  that  the  French  would  help  defend  it  in  case  the  English 
should  attack  and  attempt  a  recapture.  But  the  French  preferred  to 
remain  neutral  for  a  time  while  England  fought  it  out  with  her  colonies. 
Some  refugees  from  Vincennes  arrived  at  Detroit  and  Lieutenant- 
Governor  Hamilton  organized  an  expedition  to  recapture  the  posts, 
Clark  and  his  men  had  returned  to  Kaskaskia  to  await  reinforcements 
which  never  came,  and  they  were  royally  entertained  there  by  the  French 
.settlers.  Hamilton  set  out  with  thirty  regulars  of  the  Eighth  Regiment, 
eighty-eight  French  volunteers  and  150  Indians,  under  command  of 
Guillaume  La  Mothe  and  Lieut.  Jehu  Hay.  The  route  was  by  the  river 
and  lake  to  the  mouth  of  the  Maumee,  thence  to  the  Miami  fort,  and 
from  there  by  portage  to  the  Wabash.  When  he  arrived  before  Vin- 
cennes in  January,  1779,  he  found  the  gate  of  the  fort  wide  open  but  a 
loaded  cannon  pointed  outward  from  the  opening.  Beside  it  stood 
Captain  Helm  holding  ablazing  match  of  tarred  rope  in  his  hand,  while 
private  Henry  trained  the  gun  on  the  approaching  enemy, 

"Halt!"  shouted  the  dauntless  Helm  as  the  British  soldiers  ap- 
proached within  a  hundred  yards. 

Commandant  Hamilton  sent  Lieut.  Jehu  Hay  forward  with  a  demand 
for  a  surrender  of  the  fort. 

"Tell  Hamilton  that  I  know  his  ways,"  replied  Helm;  "no  man 
shall  enter  here  until  I  know  the  terms  of  surrender." 

The  message  came  back  that  the  garrison  would  be  allowed  to  march 
out  with  the  honors  of  war  and  be  fully  protected. 


"  Your  terms  are  accepted,"  answered  Helm,  dashing  his  match  to 
the  ground.      "Attention  company !     Shoulder  arms!    March!" 

Hamilton,  who  had  supposed  that  a  considerable  force  of  men,  at 
least  half  of  Clark's  army,  were  concealed  within  the  stockade,  was 
amazed  to  see  the  hardy  Kentuckian  march  out  in  great  dignity,  sword 
in  hand,  followed  by  a  single  private  with  shouldered  musket.  But  the 
honors  of  war  were  observed. 

This  is  one  account  of  the  capture  which  has  come  down  as  a  tra- 
dition, and  it  has  been  accepted  as  history  by  Bryant,  but  Hamilton  left 
another  record.  According  to  his  report,  he  sent  Hay  forward  with  a 
company  of  men  to  notify  the  residents  of  Vincennes  that  the  British 
lieutenant-governor  from  Detroit  was  approaching  with  a  large  body  of 
troops.  The  people  of  Vincennes  were  warned  to  lay  down  their  arms 
and  to  abandon  the  cause  of  the  rebels,  or  they  would  be  killed  without 
mercy.  Hamilton's  barbarous  methods  had  made  his  name  a  terror, 
although  he  was  a  coward  at  heart,  and  the  French  laid  down  their 
arms.  Hay  took  possession  of  the  arms,  and  Captain  Helm's  force, 
which  consisted  of  seventy  men,  abandoned  him.  There  was  no  one 
left  to  defend  the  post,  and  Helm  delivered  it  over  to  Hamilton  upon 
his  arrival. 

One  report  appears  as  improbable  as  the  other,  but  it  is  certain  that 
the  fort  was  surrendered  to  Hamilton  without  striking  a  blow.  As 
may  be  seen,  the  situation  of  Clark  and  his  men  was  indeed  desperate, 
being  in  the  enemy's  country  hundreds  of  miles  from  reinforcements 
and  supplies.  The  French  were  friendly  and  would  help  them  to  food, 
but  they  would  not  help  them  fight  their  common  enemy  the  British. 
Hamilton  was  known  to  be  a  man  of  barbarous  methods  who  would  be 
likely  to  accept  a  surrender  and  then  turn  the  savages  loose  upon  dis- 
armed prisoners.  To  retreat  was  practically  impossible,  for  the  enemy 
was  well  supplied  with  boats  for  pursuit,  and  marching  was  almost  im- 
possible, because  a  snow  fall  of  great  depth  had  melted  so  suddenly 
that  most  of  the  country  was  under  water.  Clark  resolved  to  strike 
boldly  at  his  enemy  and  take  him  by  surprise,  regardless  of  the  fact 
that  he  was  outnumbered  by  the  British  and  that  they  were  protected 
by  a  fort.  The  few  canoes  which  were  available  were  manned  by 
forty  six  men  and  loaded  with  supplies  for  a  long  journey.  The  time 
was  at  hand  for  the  desperate  effort. 

Owing  to  the  bad  weather  Hamilton  had  neglected  to  attack  the  two 
forts  at  Kaskaskia  and  Kahokia  still  held  by  Clark,  thinking  that  there 


would  be  plenty  of  time  after  the  high  water  had  subsided.  He  had 
dispatched  a  force  of  thirty  men  to  waylay  Clark  if  possible  and  cap- 
ture him,  realizing  that  his  followers  would  scatter  immediately  if  the 
master  spirit  was  not  at  hand  to  inspire  them.  The  kidnaping  party 
returned  unsuccessful. 

Clark  led  his  little  army  of  130  men  by  a  circuitous  route  toward 
Vincennes,  evading  any  outposts  which  might  have  been  stationed  to 
watch  the  trail.  For  four  days  they  marched  amid  the  greatest  hard- 
ships. They  were  seldom  on  dry  land,  the  water  on  the  bottom  lands 
of  the  Wabash  valley  averaging  between  three  and  four  feet  deep,  and 
it  was  icy  cold.  Guns  were  held  high  and  knapsacks  were  carried  on  the 
heads  of  the  soldiers.  Some  were  drowned  in  deep  holes  while  cross- 
ing branches,  but  at  last  the  Kentuckians  came  out  on  dry  ground  near 
Vincennes.  Some  of  the  residents  of  the  locality  were  captured,  and  to 
prevent  the  British  from  learning  how  small  the  attacking  force  really 
was,  Clark  prevented  these  men  from  going  about  in  his  camp,  while 
he  gave  them  the  idea  that  he  had  a  force  of  more  than  a  thousand 
riflemen.  When  he  arrived  before  Vincennes,  after  sixteen  days' 
march,  he  sent  word  to  the  residents  that  those  who  chose  to  fight  for 
their  oppressors  should  go  into  the  fort,  and  those  who  would  fight  for 
political  freedom  would  be  welcomed  in  his  ranks.  The  neutrals  were 
warned  to  betake  themselves  to  places  of  safety.  Many  of  the  residents 
went  into  the  fort,  where  they  merely  helped  to  exhaust  the  provisions. 
Hamilton  had  much  the  superior  force,  but  he  could  make  no  estimate 
of  Clark's  army,  and  being  a  cowardly  as  well  as  a  cruel  man,  he  kept 
to  the  fort.  His  enemy  fought  in  backwoods  fashion,  just  as  the  In- 
dians had  compelled  the  early  pioneers  to  fight,  and  every  man  was 
armed  with  the  long  Kentucky  rifle,  which  was  much  superior  in  range 
and  accuracy  to  the  muskets  of  the  soldiers.  They  took  possession  of 
every  sheltered  position  about  the  town  and  every  time  an  inmate  of 
the  fort  showed  his  head  it  would  be  the  target  for  the  deadly  rifles.  A 
ruse  of  the  commander  was  most  successful  in  intimidating  Hamilton. 
On  the  last  day  of  the  siege  two  log  cannons  were  made  and  painted 
black,  and  when  ostentatiously  placed  in  front  of  the  fort,  they  were 
mistaken  for  genuine  artillery.  As  the  defenders  of  the  fort  were  now 
out  of  provisions,  Hamilton  sent  out  for  terms  of  surrender.  Clark 
sent  word  that  the  surrender  must  be  unconditional,  and  that  the  Brit- 
ish must  evacuate  the  territory,  leaving  all  their  supplies.  Hamilton 
refused  to  accept  and  the  siege  went  on.     Later  Hamilton  secured  a 



personal  interview  with  Clark,  who  took  care  to  make  a  great  show  of 
strength,  and  was  firm  in  his  demands.  Justice  Dejean  had  been  sent 
back  to  Detroit  for  reinforcements  and  supplies,  and  an  expedition  led 
by  Dejean  was  on  its  way  to  relieve  the  fort  in  canoes  and  bateaux, 
carrying  $50,000  worth  of  supplies.  Clark  learned  of  this,  and  with- 
out showing  any  weakness  in  front  of  the  fort,  sent  half  his  men  to  in- 
tercept the  flotilla  of  canoes  as  they  were  coming  down  the  Wabash. 
The  attack  was  successful,  and  the  soldiers  and  their  supplies  were  cap- 
tured by  the  Kentuckians.  Some  of  the  Indians  who  had  participated 
in  the  massacre  of  Col.  Archibald.  Lochry  and  his  100  volunteers 
from  Westmoreland,  Pa.,  were  captured  near  the  fort,  and  by  Clark's 
orders  they  were  tomahawked  and  scalped  in  front  of  the  gate.  He 
allowed  several  white  prisoners  to  escape  and  make  their  way  into  the 
fort  that  Hamilton  might  learn  that  the  relieving  expedition  had  been 
captured.  Hamilton  lost  heart  and  surrendered  the  fort  the  next  day. 
On  March  5,  1779,  Hamilton,  Dejean,  Capt.  Guillaume  La  Mothe, 
Lieut.  Jehu  Hay,  Lieutenant  Scheiffelin,  and  twenty  others  were  sent 
as  prisoners  of  war  to  Fort  Pitt,  and  later  to  Williamsburg,  Va. 

Clark  in  his  official  report  alluded  to  Hamilton  as  the  "great  hair- 
buyer,"  referring  to  his  practice  of  paying  bounties  for  scalps.  Charges 
of  barbarism  were  preferred  against  the  prisoners,  the  recital  of  which 
made  the  Americans  furious  with  rage.  They  were  tried,  and  Hamil- 
ton was  sentenced  to  be  hanged,  but  Washington  and  Thomas  Jeffer- 
son, then  governor  of  Virginia,  interceded  for  their  lives.  They  were 
paroled  in  October,  1780,  and  exchanged  during  the  following  year — 
all  except  Lieutenant  Scheiffelin,  who  ran  away  to  Detroit  at  the  first 

The  peril  which  hung  over  these  prisoners  is  shown  in  a  letter 
written  by  an  American  soldier,  John  Dodge,  who  had  been  captured 
during  the  colonists'  attack  on  Quebec  in  1775.  Under  date  of  July 
13,  1779,  he  wrote  from  Pittsburg  to  Philip  Boyle,  merchant  at  St. 
Duski  (Sandusky),  as  follows:  "It  is  with  pleasure  that  I  inform  you 
that  I  have  escaped  from  Quebec.  I  have  now  the  honor  of  wearing  a 
captain's  uniform  and  commission  and  am  managing  Indian  affairs 
here.  There  has  been  a  battle  in  Carolina  and  the  English  were  de- 
feated. I  am  going  to  Williamsburg,  Va. ,  in  a  few  days  to  prosecute 
Hamilton,  that  rascal  Dejean,  Lamotte,  likewise  Haminey  and  Hay. 
They  will  all  be  hanged  without  redemption  and  the  Lord  have  mercy 
on  their  souls." 


In  addition  to  his  barbarism  Henry  Hamilton  had  other  aults.  Not 
only  did  he  usurp  the  supreme  authority  of  the  law  and  enforce  the 
extreme  penalties,  but  he  was  dishonest.  During  his  term  of  service 
at  Detroit  he  pocketed  all  the  crown  revenues  and  made  no  returns. 
In  spite  of  his  faults  his  government  rewarded  him  for  his  zeal  in  perse- 
cuting American  settlers.  Not  only  were  his  past  sins  forgiven,  but  he 
was  made  lieutenant  governor  of  Canada,  and  the  city  of  Hamilton,  in 
the  Bermuda  Islands,  was  named  in  his  honor.  He  was  afterward  made 
governor  of  the  Bahama  Islands.      He  died  in  1796. 

Thomas  Williams  whose  son,  John  R.  Williams,  was  the  first  Amer- 
ican mayor  elected  by  the  people  of  Detroit,  under  the  charter  of  1824, 
was  afterward  appointed  a  justice  by  Major  Lernoult  to  succeed  Dejean. 
When  Hamilton  and  his  crew  had  been  taken  to  Virginia  as  prisoners 
of  war,  Governor-General  Sir  Frederick  Haldimand  ordered  Col.  Arent 
Schuyler  De  Peyster  to  leave  his  command  at  Mackinaw  and  proceed 
to  Detroit. 

De  Peyster  had  long  been  complaining  because  Hamilton,  a  mere 
captain,  had  been  given  the  most  important  post  on  the  frontier, 
while  he  had  been  thrust  away  as  commandant  of  an  insignificant  post, 
where  there  was  no  chance  to  achieve  either  wealth  or  glory.  De  Peys- 
ter was  not  appointed  lieutenant-governor,  but  was  made  commandant 
in  place  of  Major  Lernoult,  who  was  presently  transferred  to  Niagara. 
De  Peyster  was  a  more  humane  man  than  Hamilton,  but  he  soon  de- 
generated into  a  human  butcher.  At  first  he  instructed  the  Indians  to 
take  prisoners  rather  than  scalps  and  to  abstain  from  torturing  their 
captives,  but  the  Indians  would  not  harass  the  Americans  unless  they 
could  also  kill  and  torture  them,  and  De  Peyster  finally  consented  to, 
and  upheld,  their  barbarities. 

George  Rogers  Clark  was  tendered  a  resolution  of  thanks  by  the 
Legislature  of  Virginia,  and  was  made  a  general  as  a  reward  for  his 
heroic  accomplishments.  He  had  undertaken  the  capture  of  the  British 
posts  on  his  own  authority,  and  had  not  even  informed  Washington  of 
his  purpose.  He  sent  to  Virginia  for  reinforcements,  saying  that  the 
one  fort  which  now  menaced  the  settlers  of  the  west  was  at  Detroit  (he 
spelled  it  Detroyet),  and  he  could  not  feel  satisfied  until  he  had  taken 
that  British  stronghold.  His  request  was  ignored,  and  Clark,  who  was 
a  man  of  boundless  energy,  courage  and  ambition,  was  compelled  to 
desert  the  scenes  of  his  brilliant  victories,  and  lead  his  sadly  weakened 
army  back  to  Kentucky.     Clark  corresponded  with  Washington  and 


with  the  Virginia  authorities,  begging  for  a  company  of  men  and  suffi- 
cient supplies  to  make  an  attack  upon  Detroit,  so  as  to  stop  the  Indian 
depredations.  All  his  ambition  was  centered  in  this  one  accomplish- 
ment, but  Washington,  while  recognizing  his  courage  and  ability,  was 
aware  of  his  defects — for  Clark  was  a  man  of  violent  temper  and  of  intem 
perate  habits.  Gen.  Daniel  Brodhead  was  given  the  mission  for  which 
Clark  had  pleaded,  but  he  appears  to  have  been  unsuccessful,  for 
while  the  British  were  repeatedly  alarmed  by  rumors  of  his  approach 
with  an  army  of  several  thousand  men,  he  never  came  nearer  than  a 
point  about  twenty  miles  south  of  the  present  site  of  Toledo.  Clark 
led  several  successful  raids  into  Ohio  in  1780  and  1782,  destroying  the 
Shawnee  villages  along  the  Scioto  River  and  the  Miami  villages  around 
the  present  site  of  Piqua  He  was  appointed  Indian  commissioner, 
and  the  savages  had  great  respect  for  this  fearless  fighter.  His  disap- 
pointment grew  upon  him  as  he  saw  Detroit,  the  key  of  the  west,  re- 
main in  the  hands  of  the  British,  and  he  retired  to  his  log  cabin  at  the 
falls  of  the  Ohio.  Like  that  flower  of  Spanish  chivalry,  Bernado  del 
Carpio — 

"His  heart  was  broke;  his  later  days 
Untold  in  martial  strain, 
His  banner  led  the  spears  no  more 
Amid  the  hills  of  Spain." 

Clark   sank  into  a    profound    melancholy,    became  more  intemperate 
than  ever,  and  died  in  poverty  and  neglect  in  Louisville,  Ky. 



How  the  Fort  and  Settlement  Looked  During  the  Revolutionary  War — Character 
of  the  Houses — Costumes  of  the  Various  People — Drunken  Indians  and  Returning 
Raiders  with  Reeking  Scalps  and  Live  Prisoners  to  Torture  on  the  Common. 

Detroit  was  a  bustling  center  of  activity  in  the  year  1780.  The  new 
fort,  on  the  rising  ground,  had  been  much  enlarged  and  strengthened, 
and  the  stockade  now  enclosed  several  acres.  Many  houses  were 
located  outside  the  fortifications,  but  these  were  almost  forts  in  them- 
selves, with  their  strong  log  walls  and  their  palisades  of  stout  pickets 
inclosing  the  grounds.  North  of  the  fort,  reaching  to  a  marshy  tract 
of  land  where  Grand  Circus  Park  is  now  located,  stretched  the  commons, 
where  the  cattle,  ponies  and  pigs  of  the  settlers  roamed  for  pasturage. 
The  houses  for  the  most  part  lay  along  the  river,  and  each  night  the 
boys  of  the  settlement  could  be  seen  driving  the  cattle  homeward  by 
winding  paths.  Beyond  the  common  stretched  an  interminable  wil- 
derness, from  which  the  whoo-whoo  of  the  owls  and  the  weird  howl  of 
the  wolf  could  be  heard  after  nightfall.  The  houses  of  the  wealthier 
settlers  were  quite  pretentious  in  their  dimensions.  They  were  all 
built  of  logs,  and  the  huge  beams  which  supported  the  upper  floors 
were  hung  with  seed  corn,  dried  pumpkin,  hanks  of  yarn,  smoked 
hams,  jerked  venison,  and  the  vegetable  seeds  saved  during  the  pre- 
vious season.  The  decorations  were  almost  exclusively  of  Indian 
manufacture.  Great  elk  skins,  tanned  a  pale  buff  color  and  decorated 
with  dyed  porcupine  quills,  served  as  curtains  and  window  shades. 
Huge  grass  mats,  plaited  by  the  hands  of  the  busy  squaws,  covered  the 
floors;  and  the  spinning  wheel,  the  flax  wheel  and  the  old  fashioned 
hand  loom  were  among  the  ornaments  of  the  living  rooms.  Indian 
pipes,  richly  decorated  moccasins  and  other  bric-a-brac  were  to  be 
found  everywhere.  On  the  antlers  of  giant  elk,  nailed  to  the  walls, 
hung  the  long,  flintlock  rifles,  powder  horns  which  had  once  been  the 
defense  of  huge  buffalo,  and  bullet  pouches  of  squirrel  skin.  Nearly 
every  wealthy  settler  had  one  or  more  slaves,  who  were  either  Pawnee 
Indians  or  Africans,  and  who  attended  to  the  duties  of  the  household 


and  tilled  the  gardens.  Each  house  had  a  cellar  with  its  store  of  vege- 
tables and  salt  meat,  a  barrel  of  cider,  some  jugs  and  bottles  of  wine 
made  from  the  scuppernong  grape,  which  was  a  luxuriant  vine  in  the 
local  forest,  or  perhaps  a  cask  of  ale  or  strong  beer  from  the  local 
brewery,  which  was  first  installed  by  Cadillac  and  his  brewer,  Joseph 
Parent.  On  the  narrow  streets  the  young  ladies  wore  short  skirts  of 
gay  colors,  with^  neatly  fitting  bodices,  and  white  kerchiefs  about  their 
necks  and  shoulders.  Their  bonnets  were  usually  homemade,  but 
much  beautified  by  the  art  of  the  seamstress.  The  family  table  never 
lacked  for  meat,  for  the  woods  abounded  in  wild  turkeys,  deer,  elk  and 
pheasants.  The  river  was  alive  with  wild  geese,  ducks,  brant  and  wild 
swans.  Whitefish  were  to  be  had  for  the  casting  of  a  net,  and  there 
was  a  great  variety  of  other  fish. 

Though  a  far  inland  town,  Detroit  had  even  then  the  manners  of  the 
seaboard,  and  its  fashions  were  those  of  the  London  and  Paris  of  the 
period — somewhat  later,  however,  owing  to  the  ninety  days'  sail  from 
Europe  and  a  two  months'  paddle  up  the  Hudson,  Mohawk  and  Oswego 
Rivers  and  then  throughout  Lakes  Erie  and  Ontario.  Matrons  wore 
dresses  with  long  skirts  and  short  waists  and  very  short  sleeves,  and  quite 
often  veiled  their  faces;  while  the  gentlemen  went  in  shovel  hats  and 
powdered  perukes,  with  silk  hose  and  knee  breeches  with  silver  buck- 
les. On  festive  occasions,  which  were  numerous  even  during  the 
Revolutionary  war,  there  was  no  end  to  the  display  of  silk  and  satin 
gowns,  and  gold  bespangled  shoes,  and  costly  jewels  glittered  as  the 
slow  and  stately  figures  of  the  minuet  moved  through  the  richly  fur- 
nished drawing  rooms  with  the  solemn  precision  of  a  funeral.  This  was 
of  course  among  the  upper  classes.  Less  pretentious  but  equally 
picturesque  was  the  dress  of  the  settlers  of  small  means  and  the  fur 
traders  and  their  agents.  Their  coats  were  usually  made  of  heavy 
blanket  cloth,  black  or  blue  in  color,  belted  at  the  waist  and  with  a  ca- 
pote or  hood  for  covering  the  head  in  severe  weather.  Many  of  them 
had  a  sort  of  barbaric  taste  for  gay  colors,  and  these  would  wear  even 
scarlet,  red  or  crimson  coats,  while  the  cuffs,  pocket  flaps  and  collars 
were  bound  with  fur  according  to  the  taste  or  extravagance  of  the 
wearer.  Their  trousera  were  of  the  knickerbocker  pattern,  usually  of 
coarse  and  heavy  cloth  and  often  of  elk  skin.  Their  legs  were  en- 
cased in  thick  leggins,  green  being  a  favorite  color,  and  moccasins  of 
elk  skin,  ornamented  by  the  hands  of  some  industrious  squaw,  took  the 
place  of  the   silver  buckled  shoes  affected  by  the  rich.     Their  hands 


were  protected  by  very  heavy  mittens,  and  their  heads  by  fur  caps 
made  of  the  skins  of  small  animals,  beautifully  dressed.  It  was  com- 
mon practice  to  make  the  cap  of  the  skin  of  the  muskrat,  woodchuck, 
fox  or  marten,  with  the  head  at  the  front,  in  place  of  a  visor,  and  the 
tail  hanging  down  over  the  shoulders,  the  sport  of  every  passing  breeze. 

Out  in  the  streets  of  old  Detroit  a  visitor  from  the  heart  of  civiliza- 
tion could  witness  a  panorama  of  never  ending  interest.  Voyageurs, 
boatmen  and  fur  traders  strolled  about  in  fantastic  dress,  their  faces 
bronzed  by  exposure  until  they  rivaled  the  hue  of  the  Indians.  Each 
one  bore  with  him  the  peculiar  scent  of  peltries,  combining  the  odors 
of  the  beaver  and  muskrat  and  the  odor  of  the  smoke  of  the  camp  fires, 
about  which  they  usually  slept  on  their  journeys  through  the  wilder- 
ness. Those  half  wild  men  joked  with  the  shy  Indian  girls  and  looked 
with  undisguised  admiration  at  the  pretty  French  girls  who  walked  and 
danced  with  the  grace  of  Diana,  but  who  could  make  the  best  of  the 
men  bend  their  strong  backs  in  a  race  on  the  river  in  birch  bark  canoes. 
These  daughters  of  the  wilderness  were  fair  and  exceedingly  vivacious. 
They  lacked  the  adornments  to  be  found  in  the  great  cities  of  Europe, 
but  they  made  themselves  attractive  with  the  natural  art  that  appears 
to  be  born  in  the  French  woman. 

Indians  were  to  be  found  everywhere.  They  were  picturesque  when 
sober,  but  repulsive  in  appearance  when  drunk,  and  the  average  sav- 
age of  that  time,  two  hours  after  arriving  in  the  town,  was  in  one  of  the 
many  stages  of  intoxication  and  not  at  all  pleasant  to  meet.  As  they 
were  away  much  of  the  time  on  marauds  against  the  American  settlers, 
their  squaws  hung  about  the  settlement  making  baskets,  birch  boxes, 
maple  syrup,  bead  work,  moccasins  and  tanning  hides,  working  indus- 
triously, while  their  brown-skinned  little  ones  tumbled  about  on  the 
river  bank  or  swam  in  the  clear  waters  with  as  much  ease  as  the  frogs. 
Their  papooses,  bound  to  boards,  were  hung  on  the  low  boughs, 
where  the  breezes  could  rock  them.  The  male  Indian  despised  work 
and  made  his  wife  a  slave.  When  he  came  to  Detroit  to  trade,  if  his 
march  was  overland,  he  tramped  along  with  head  erect,  his  dress  orna- 
mented with  a  profusion  of  trinkets  and  feathers,  and  narrow  strips  of 
the  scalps  he  had  taken  made  a  fringe  for  his  deerskin  breeches.  His 
gun,  scalping  knife,  hatchet,  powder  horn  and  bullet  pouch,  w'ere  all 
the  burdens  he  essayed  to  carry.  Behind  came  his  squaw,  prematurely 
aged  by  hard  work,  loaded  to  a  bending  posture  with  a  pack  of  peltries 
and  camp  utensils.     The  children  followed  in  single  file,  the  boys  being 


armed  with  bows  and  arrows  and  the  girls  carrying  burdens  suspended 
upon  their  backs  by  a  band  across  their  foreheads.  In  Detroit  the  In- 
dian husband  and  father  disposed  of  his  wares  and  his  wife  sold  hers, 
both  trading  for  goods  at  the  stores.  The  Indian's  first  purchase  was 
rum,  and  then  he  bought  powder  and  ball ;  but  the  wife  bought  cloth 
and  other  necessities  for  her  little  ones,  occasionally  indulging  in  a 
cheap  ornament  for  her  own  person.  Sometimes  gray-coated  mission- 
aries, Moravians  from  the  Clinton  River,  came  to  the  king's  common 
and  preached  to  the  Indians;  but  they  could  make  but  little  headway 
against  the  influence  of  free  rum  and  the  inducements  to  barbarity 
offered  by  the  government  officials  at  the  post. 

The  fort  loomed  up  a  formidable  looking  work  for  that  time.  Its 
strong  bastions,  armed  with  six-pound  cannon,  frowned  on  each  cor- 
ner. Massive  blockhouses  with  overhanging  second  stories  flanked 
every  gate ;  and  on  the  ramparts  the  scarlet  coated  soldiers  strode  to 
and  fro,  keeping  watch  over  the  settlement  in  the  name  of  the  king. 
Soldiers  off  duty  flirted  with  the  French  maidens  and  strutted  about 
the  narrow  streets  fully  conscious  of  their  own  importance.  In  front 
of  the  fort  along  the  river  bank  were  the  first  rude  wharves  of  Detroit. 
One  near  the  tipper  end  of  the  stockade  reached  out  into  the  river 
more  than  150  feet,  and  at  the  lower  end  of  the  fort  was  a  shorter 
wharf.  Between  the  two  was  the  harbor  pool  or  anchorage  for  ships, 
and  usually  two  or  three  schooners,  sloops  or  brigs  lay  in  this  anchorage, 
swaying  at  their  anchors  with  the  strong  current.  Midway  between 
the  two  wharves  and  close  to  the  water  was  a  large  and  very  massive 
blockhouse,  armed  with  two  swivel  guns  to  protect  the  landing  of 
friendly  troops  in  case  of  war.  The  experience  of  the  Pontiac  war  had 
taught  the  British  how  necessary  it  was  to  have  certain  access  to  the 
river  at  all  times.  Just  east  of  the  long  or  upper  wharf  was  one  of  the 
Detroit  ship  yards,  where  there  was  constant  activity  during  the  Revo- 
lutionary war,  for  it  was  a  standing  order  that  Great  Britain  must 
maintain  control  of  the  great  lakes  and  that  no  other  power  should  be 
permitted  to  launch  a  craft  in  their  waters.  More  than  twenty  vessels 
were  launched  from  the  yard  on  the  Rouge  River  near  the  present 
Woodmere  Cemetery  during  the  last  ten  years  of  British  possession — 
1770  to  1780 — and  there  was  always  one  or  more  on  the  stocks.  Over- 
head, on  the  tall  flagstaff  of  the  fort,  floated  the  banner  of  Great 
Britain,  emblem  of  the  most  powerful  government  of  the  time.  Notices 
of  public  events  were  usually  given  out  from  Ste.  Anne's  church  each 


Sunday  morning-,  but  notices  were  frequently  published  by  the  town 
crier,  who  went  through  each  street  beating  a  drum  and  calling  out 
the  advertisement  he  had  been  given  to  publish.  From  the  forest 
paths  leading  southward,  parties  of  Indians  were  constantly  arriving. 
They  bore  scalps  of  murdered  settlers,  and  drove  before  them  half 
starved  captives,  torn  by  briars  and  bleeding  from  the  stripes  and  stabs 
which  had  been  inflicted  upon  them  when  their  sore  and  swollen  feet 
faltered  on  the  way.  Girty,  the  malignant  renegade,  sometimes  swag- 
gered about  the  streets  boasting  of  his  deeds  of  blood,  or  wild  with 
rum,  filled  the  air  with  imprecations  against  the  Americans  who  had 
sworn  vengeance  against  him.  Captains  McKee  and  Elliott,  James 
Girty  and  George  Girty,  and  Dequindre,  Chesne  and  Beaubien  and 
other  French  residents  who  had  taken  service  under  the  British,  were 
also  familiar  figures  and  always  in  close  association  with  the  Indian 
allies  whom  they  controlled.  The  cost  of  the  peculiar  warfare 
which  was  waged  from  Detroit  was  greater  than  the  British  govern- 
ment had  anticipated,  and  there  was  much  complaint  against  the  ex- 
pense, but  the  Indians  would  do  nothing  without  rum  and  presents, 
and  their  demands  became  every  day  more  exorbitant.  In  1781  the 
cost  of  keeping  them  in  arms  against  the  Americans  was  over  ;!^124,000, 
or  $320,000,  according  to  the  drafts  drawn  by  De  Peyster,  and  much 
more  was  sent  to  them  from  Montreal.  Inside  the  fort  was  the  store- 
house of  supplies  for  the  Indians.  In  an  adjoining  apartment  was  the 
dreadful  charnel  house  of  the  post.  Hanging  from  the  beams  and 
upon  the  walls  of  this  large  room  were  painted  poles  strung  with 
human  scalps.  Bales  of  scalps  were  piled  in  the  corners  of  the  room, 
each  being  the  ghastly  relic  of  a  wholesale  murder.  There,  hanging 
side  by  side,  were  the  silver  locks  of  the  grandsire,  who  had  been 
murdered  at  his  fireside,  the  scalp  of  the  farmer  and  soldier,  the  long 
braided  locks  of  the  matron,  the  flowing  tresses  of  the  girl  in  her  'teens 
and  the  flaxen  haired  scalp  of  the  tender  babe.  Each  was  carefully 
stretched  into  a  flat  disk  by  drying  on  a  hoop,  and  the  flesh  side  was 
painted  a  bright  red.  On  the  red  ground  were  the  private  marks  of  the 
slayer  in  blue  and  black,  showing  the  manner  in  which  the  victims  had 
been  killed. 

Coiireurs  de  bois  no  longer  carried  their  stock  in  trade  from  the  in- 
terior upon  their  backs.  Each  of  these  commercial  travelers  of  the 
wilderness  had  now  one  or  more  ponies,  rough  coated,  broad  backed 
and  very  hardy.     They  traveled  with  a  pacing  or  ambling  gait,  and 




when  the  lakes  and  streams  were  frozen  over  in  winter  they  could  pull 
rough  sledges  at  surprising  speed.  Winter  races  between  these  val- 
uable beasts  of  burden  formed  one  of  the  pleasures  of  the  settlement, 
and  the  whole  populace  turned  out  to  cheer  the  rival  racers.  The  de- 
scendants of  these  ponies  are  common  in  Canada  and  about  Detroit, 
and  pony  races  are  still  a  winter  recreation  on  the  frozen  bosom  of 
the  River  Rouge,  between  Fort  Street  and  the  mouth  of  the  Detroit 

After  General  Clark  had  captured  the  Illinois  posts,  the  French  set- 
tlers at  Kahokia  and  Kaskaskia,  Ohio,  which  were  then  in  Spanish  ter- 
ritory, picked  up  courage  and  did  some  fighting  on  their  own  account 
against  the  British.  In  1780  Lieutenant  Scheiffelin,  who  had  been 

taken  prisoner  and  sent  to  Williamsburg  in  company  with  Hamilton  and 
Dejean,  made  his  escape.  He  said  that  the  prisoners  were  treated 
brutally  and  compelled  to  work  like  menials  about  the  jail.  Hamilton 
was  in  great  need  of  money  while  in  prison  and  drew  upon  Governor 
Haldimand  for  ^700.  Strenuous  efforts  were  made  to  secure  his  ex- 
change, but  up  to  that  date  they  had  failed.  The  protests  of  the 
American  Congress,  the  stories  of  wholesale  massacres  and  the  great 
number  of  scalps  of  settlers  brought  to  Detroit,  excited  the  sympathy 
of  Lord  Shelburne,  the  British  colonial  secretary,  and  he  wrote  to  Gov- 
ernor Haldimand  ordering  him  to  call  off  the  savages.  Haldimand 
wrote  to  De  Peyster  conveying  the  order,  but  the  latter  replied  that  the 
Indians  were  so  enraged  that  it  was  impossible  to  restrain  or  to  call 
them  away  from  the  frontier.  In  the  fall  of  1780  Col.  Augustin  Mottin 
de  la  Balme  left  Kahokia  and  made  a  first  movement  toward  the  Ohio 
River.  This  was  to  disguise  his  purpose.  He  had  planned  to  make  a 
sudden  descent  upon  Detroit  after  he  had  united  with  the  French  at  Vin- 
cennes.  He  waited  twelve  days  at  Miami  town,  on  the  Maumee  River, 
for  the  arrival  of  the  Vincennes  men,  and  then  partially  destroyed  the 
village  during  the  absence  of  the  warriors,  who  were  fighting  the  settlers 
on  the  border.  As  he  was  on  his  way  toward  Vincennes  a  party  of  Miamis 
surprised  him  and  killed  the  commander  and  forty  of  his  men,  and  the 
remainder  retreated.  He  had  a  force  of  about  130  men.  Colonel 
De  la  Balme  cuts  little  figure  in  the  published  histories,  but  he  was  a 
brave  man  who  did  much  for  the  American  colonies.  He  was  a  friend 
of  Count  D'Estaing,  who  commanded  the  French  allies  in  the  Revolu- 
tion, and  upon  his  arrival  in  the  United  States  with  letters  from  Dr. 
Franklin,   he  was  made  inspector -general  of  the  Continental  cavalry. 


When  D'Estaing,  in  the  fall  of  1778,  issued  a  proclamation  to  the 
French  people  of  the  Northwest,  calling  upon  them  in  the  king's  name 
to  take  up  arms  in  behalf  of  the  Americans  and  assist  them  in  winning 
their  independence,  De  la  Balme  was  the  bearer  of  the  message  to  the 
French  of  Illinois.  His  military  training  showed  him  that  he  could 
strike  a  telling  blow  by  capturing  Detroit,  and  but  for  the  failure  of  his 
compatriots  to  join  him  at  the  expected  time  he  might  have  accom- 
plished this  valuable  service. 

An  expedition  set  out  from  Detroit  in  1780  under  Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor Patrick  Sinclair,  of  Mackinac,  with  the  intention  of  capturing 
the  Spanish  settlements  of  Pen  Coeur  and  Kahokia  in  the  Illinois 
country,  the  latter  being  one  of  the  places  captured  in  1778  b}^  General 
Clark  of  Virginia.  Pen  Coeur  (Hanging  Heart)  was  captured  and  sixty- 
eight  of  the  garrison  was  killed.  This  was  probably  a  wholesale 
slaughter,  for  it  is  doubtful  if  the  population  exceeded  that  number. 
The  report  of  Commandant  De  Peyster  mentions  no  prisoners  taken  at 
this  place.  At  Kahokia  some  traders  had  warned  the  settlement  of  the 
approach  of  the  British.  De  Peyster  reported  twenty- three  prisoners 
taken  and  50,000  tons  of  lead  ore  was  ''stopped." 

The  winter  of  1780  was  the  most  severe  ever  experienced  at  Detroit 
up  to  that  time.  It  was  not  until  May  16,  1781,  that  the  ice  was  suffi- 
ciently cleared  from  the  river  to  permit  the  first  vessel  to  depart  for 
Erie.  A  census  of  Detroit  taken  in  1780  reads  as  follows :  Heads  of 
families,  394;  married  and  young  women,  374;  married  and  young 
men,  332;  men  absent  in  Indian  territory,  100;  boys  ten  to  fifteen 
years  of  age,  455;  girls,  385;  male  slaves,  79;  female  slaves,  96; 
horses,  772;  oxen,  474;  cows,  793;  steers,  361;  sheep,  279;  hogs,  1,016; 
bushels  of  wheat,  13,316;  corn,  5,380;  peas,  488;  oats,  6,253;  flour, 
358,000  pounds;  bushels  of  wheat  sown,  2,028;  potatoes,  2,885;  bar- 
rels of  cider,  828;  acres  under  cultivation,  12,083.  The  males  in  the 
above  list  probably  include  soldiers,  and  the  total  population  was  2,205. 



Shocking  Butchery  of  Ohio  Settlers  by  the  British  Indians— A  Bill  of  Lading  for  a 
Shipment  of  954  Human  Scalps,  Which  tell  a  Gruesome  Story— Reprisals  by  the  Set- 
tlers— Shameless  Butchery  of  the  Moravian  Indians. 

Perhaps  the  best  idea  of  the  attitude  of  the  British  at  Detroit,  during 
the  years  of  the  Revolution,  may  be  gained  from  papers  submitted  in 
evidence  by  Dr.  Benjamin  Franklin,  when  he  went  to  France  to  appeal 
for  assistance  against  British  barbarities  toward  non-combatants. 
One  of  these  papers  was  a  letter  from  a  British  officer,  which  was  in- 
tercepted on  its  way  to  Lieutenant-Governor  Hamilton  at  Detroit: 

"  May  it  please  your  excellency:  At  the  request  of  a  Seneca  chief  I  hereby  send 
to  your  Excellency  under  care  of  James  Hoyd,  eight  packages  of  scalps,  cured,  dried, 
hooped  and  painted  with  all  the  triumphal  marks,  and  of  which  consignment  this  is 
an  invoice  and  explanation.  Package  number  1,  forty  three  scalps  of  Congress  sol- 
diers, inside  painted  red  with  a  small  black  dot  to  show  they  were  killed  by  bullets; 
those  painted  brown  and  marked  with  a  hoe  denote  that  the  soldiers  were  killed 
while  at  their  farms;  those  marked  with  a  black  ring  denote  that  the  persons  were 
surprised  by  night ;  those  marked  with  a  black  hatchet  denote  that  the  persons  were 
killed  with  the  tommahawk.  Package  number  2,  ninety  eight  farmers'  scalps;  a 
white  circle  denotes  that  they  were  surprised  in  the  daytime ;  those  with  a  red  foot 
denote  that  the  men  stood  their  ground  and  fought  in  the  defense  of  their  wives  and 
families.  Number  3,  ninety-seven  farmers'  scalps;  the  green  hoops  denote  that  they 
were  killed  in  the  fields.  Number  4,  102  farmers'  scalps ;  eighteen  are  marked  with 
a  yellow  flame  to  show  that  they  died  by  torture ;  the  one  with  a  black  band  attached 
belonged  to  a  clergyman.  Number  5,  eighty-eight  scalps  of  women;  those  with  the 
braided  hair  were  mothers.  Number  6,  193  boys'  scalps.  Number  7,  211  girls' 
scalps.  Number  8,  122  scalps  of  all  sorts;  among  them  are  twenty-nine  infant 
scalps,  and  those  marked  with  small  white  hoops  denote  that  the  child  was  unborn 
at  the  time  the  mother  was  killed.  The  chief  of  the  Senecas  sends  this  message: 
'  Father,  we  send  you  here  these  many  scalps  that  you  may  see  that  we  are  not  idle 
friends.  We  wish  you  to  send  these  scalps  to  the  Great  King  that  he  may  regard 
them  and  be  refreshed:  and  that  he  may  see  our  faithfulness  in  destroying  his  ene- 
mies and  be  convinced  that  his  presents  are  appreciated.'  " 

A  fine  present,  this  set  of  trophies,  evidence  of  954  murders  which 
spared  neither  age  nor  infirmity,  man,  woman  or  child  or  even  babe 


unborn — to  forward  to  a  monarch  by  the  grace  of  God  and  defender  of 
the  faith! 

Settlers  continued  to  be  murdered  right  and  left  by  prowling  bands  of 
Indians,  and  many  of  them  after  being  captured  were  submitted  to  the 
most  horrible  tortures.  The  first  torture  would  be  to  run  the  gauntlet 
between  double  files  of  savages,  armed  with  any  weapon  they  chose  to 
use.  Those  condemned  to  death  were  stripped  naked  and  painted 
black.  Sometimes  their  flesh  would  be  filled  with  large  pine  splinters 
and  these  would  be  set  on  fire.  Some  would  be  impaled  on  red  hot 
irons,  or  pinned  fast  to  the  ground  and  roasted  under  a  fire  of  brush. 
Others  would  be  fired  at  with  blank  charges  of  powder  at  such  close 
range  that  the  burning  powder  would  penetrate  far  into  their  flesh. 
The  most  common  method  was  to  tie  prisoners  to  a  stake  and  build  a 
wall  of  fire  about  them  at  a  distance  of  about  twenty  feet  so  that  they 
would  linger  for  hours  in  dreadful  torture.  Girty  was  frequently  pres- 
ent at  such  scenes  and  often  scoffed  at  the  victims;  but  it  is  also  known 
that  he  rescued  many  from  such  a  death. 

In  March,  1780,  Simon  Girty  was  at  Detroit  to  conduct  Captain  Bird 
to  an  attack  upon  Louisville,  where  the  Virginians  had  a  fort  of  some 
strength  under  command  of  Gen.  George  Rogers  Clark.  They  started 
with  a  considerable  force  of  Canadians,  most  of  them  mounted,  and 
carried  two  light  pieces  of  cannon.  On  the  route  Girty  called  out  the 
Indians  at  different  villages  in  the  Miami  valley,  until  the  force 
amounted  to  600  men.  They  could  not  reach  Louisville  during  the 
high  water  of  the  freshet  season,  so  they  attacked  two  small  settle- 
ments— Ruddle's  Station,  known  as  Fort  Liberty,  and  Martin's  Station, 
both  on  the  Licking  River,  immediately  south  of  where  Cincinnati 
now  stands.  It  was  impossible  for  the  settlers  to  make  resistance 
against  such  a  force,  so  they  surrendered  upon  promise  of  protection. 
Captain  Bird  was  unable  to  control  the  savages,  however,  and  a  num- 
ber of  settlers  were  slaughtered  and  scalped.  Girty  succeeded  in  pre- 
venting a  general  massacre.  The  settlers  who  survived,  numbering 
about  400,  were  loaded  with  their  own  household  goods  and  hurried  to 
Detroit  on  foot  as  prisoners  of  war.  A  number  escaped,  but  350  of  the 
settlers  arrived  at  Detroit  on  August  4,  1780.  The  horrors  of  such  a 
march,  where  the  men,  women  and  children  were  loaded  with  burdens, 
needs  no  description. 

In  the  summer  of  1780  Joseph  Brant,  chief  of  the  Mohawk  nation, 
with  a  force  of  warriors,  marched  from   Detroit  to  Niagara  and  from 


there  to  Oswego,  He  went  to  punish  the  Oneidas,  who  had  refused 
to  join  with  the  British,  and  sympathized  with  the  Americans.  March- 
ing- inland  he  attacked  and  burned  several  villages  of  the  Oneida 
nation,  and  the  latter  took  refuge  in  the  forts  at  Stanwix  and  Schen- 
ectady, in  N-ew  York.  This  is  the  only  noticeable  case  where  two 
nations  of  the  Iroquois  confederacy  took  different  sides  during  the 

Moravian  missionaries  had  several  times  warned  the  American  com- 
mandants at  Fort  Pitt  (Pittsburg)  and  other  frontier  posts  of  the  ap- 
proach of  Girty  and  his  Indians,  and  of  Col.  John  Butler  and  his  rangers, 
who  always  aimed  to  surprise  the  Americans.  In  the  fall  of  1780  a 
grand  council  of  the  Iroquois  was  called  by  Alexander  McKee,  the 
British  Indian  agent,  and  was  held  at  Detroit.  At  the  council  he  asked 
the  Six  Nations  to  break  up  the  Moravian  settlements  atGnadenhutten, 
Salem  and  Schoenbrun,  all  three  in  southern  Ohio.  It  was  a  class  of 
dirty  work  which  the  Iroquois  did  not  care  to  undertake,  so  they  sent 
word  to  the  Chippewas,  accompanied  by  a  wampum  belt,  that  they 
might  "make  soup,"  if  they  wished,  of  the  Christian  Indians  who  were 
being  taught  by  the  Moravian  missionaries.  But  even  these  fierce 
northern  savages  did  not  care  to  kill  their  own  race  without  cause.  The 
Moravians  were  a  peculiar  religious  sect  who  termed  themselves  ' '  United 
Brethren  in  Christ."  They  developed  from  the  missions  which  carried 
Christianity  into  Bohemia  in  the  ninth  century,  and  began  to  assume 
their  present  form  as  a  religious  society  in  the  fourteenth  century. 
They  came  to  America  in  1735  to  evangelize  the  Indians,  first  settling 
in  Georgia,  but  afterward  removing  to  Pennsylvania  where  they  founded 
the  towns  of  Bethlehem,  Nazareth  and  Lititz.  From  there  they  sent 
missionaries  over  into  Ohio  and  also  into  Michigan.  Gnadenhutten,  on 
the  Tuscarawas  River,  was  their  chief  settlement  in  Ohio,  the  name 
signifying  "  tents  of  grace."  The  Moravian  church  was  a  sort  of  re- 
ligious communism.  It  held  all  real  estate  as  church  property  and 
would  not  sell  to  persons  outside  the  society.  Personal  property  be- 
longed to  the  individual,  but  the  church  exercised  a  temporal  as  well 
spiritual  authority  over  its  adherents  until  1844.  The  Moravians  were 
lovers  of  peace,  and  would  not  offer  resistance  to  their  oppressors. 
They  taught  their  followers  humility  and  industry;  when  one  died  in 
the  faith  it  was  a  matter  of  rejoicing  rather  than  mourning,  and  their 
funeral  processions  were  accompanied  with  the  blowing  of  trumpets 
and  trombones.     Each  member  was  pledged  to  do  what  he  could  toward 


evangelizing-  the  Indians,  and  their  communities  were  the  abodes  of 
peace  and  general  happiness  except  when  invaded  by  their  oppressors. 
In  the  spring  of  1781  Col.  Matthew  Elliott,  who  had  deserted  the 
American  army  with  Girty,  went  to  the  Moravian  villages,  resolved  to 
get  rid  of  the  non-combatants  at  any  cost.  They  made  no  resistance 
and  were  placed  in  charge  of  a  Frenchman  named  Le  Villiers,  who 
took  them,  several  hundred  in  number,  to  Detroit.  Girty  hated  the 
Moravian  missionaries,  and  tried  to  get  the  young  Miamis  to  murder 
them,  but  the  Delawares  would  not  permit  it.  He  ordered  Le  Villiers 
to  rush  them  to  Detroit  under  the  lash,  allowing  the  women  no  time  to 
rest  or  to  prepare  food,  but  Le  Villiers  was  a  humane  man  and 
showed  them  as  much  kindness  as  he  could,  and  shielded  them  when 
he  could  from  the  brutality  of  the  savages.  David  Zeisberger,  over 
sixty  years  of  age,  John  Heckewelder,  Gottlieb  Senseman,  John  Jacob 
Schemick,  John  Bull  and  William  Edwards,  were  the  missionaries  in 
this  party.  Their  villages  were  depopulated  and  the  corn  crop  was 
left  unharvested  in  the  fields.  The  prisoners  were  ill  clad,  many  being 
barefoot,  and  they  were  torn  with  briars  and  almost  perishing  from 
hunger  and  fatigue  when  they  arrived  at  their  destination.  As  they 
came  near  Detroit  the  squaws  and  young  Indians  set  upon  them  and 
beat  them  cruelly.  James  May,  of  Detroit,  went  out  to  witness  their 
arrival,  when  two  girls,  thirteen  and  fourteen  years  of  age  respectively, 
broke  away  from  their  tormentors  and  fled  to  him  for  protection.  The 
Indians  pursued,  and,  as  the  girls  were  clinging  to  May,  that  citizen, 
who  was  a  very  large  man,  weighing  about  300  pounds,  defended  them 
with  his  fists  and  knocked  two  of  the  Indians  down.  He  then  took  the 
girls  to  the  council  house  for  shelter.  The  Indians  complained  to  Cap- 
tain McKee,  and  the  latter  went  to  De  Peyster  in  a  passion,  saying 
that  his  Indians  must  be  allowed  to  do  as  they  pleased  with  their  vic- 
tims, or  they  would  desert  the  British  cause.  De  Peyster  summoned 
May  before  him  and  said  that  he  would  send  him  to  a  dungeon  at 
Montreal  if  he  ever  dared  to  interfere  between  the  Indians  and  their 
captives  again.  When  the  Moravian  missionaries  had  been  brought 
before  Commandant  De  Peyster  and  the  council  house  was  filled  with 
Indian  chiefs,  who  had  been  called  to  consider  the  missionary  matter, 
Girty  told- the  assemblage  that  the  Moravians  were  friends  of  the  Revo- 
lutionists, and  had  given  valuable  information  to  the  American  com- 
manders by  apprising  them  of  the  movements  of  the  British  scalping 
parties.     Captain  Pipe,  the  Delaware  chief,  a  magnificent  savage,  arose 


and  addressed  De  Peyster,  saying:  "You  Englishmen  may  fight  the 
Americans,  your  brothers,  if  you  choose ;  the  quarrel  is  yours,  not  ours. 
The  Indians  have  no  cause  or  reason  for  taking  sides  and  shedding  their 
blood  in  this  war,  but  you  have  set  them  upon  the  Americans  as  the 
hunter  sets  his  dog  upon  the  game."  At  this  moment  he  took  from  an 
Indian  at  his  side  a  pole  strung  with  white  settlers'  scalps.  "Look, 
father!  here  is  what  has  been  done  with  the  hatchet  you  gave  me.  I 
have  made  use  of  it  as  you  ordered  me  to  do,  and  I  found  it  sharp," 

Like  most  of  the  Delawares  he  had  no  particular  grudge  against  the 
Americans,  but  instead  of  remaining  on  their  own  lands  in  southern 
New  York,  where  their  neutrality  would  be  in  doubt,  most  of  the  tribe 
came  to  Ohio  to  assure  the  Senecas  that  they  were  to  be  trusted.  The 
British  had  hired  some  of  them  to  take  part  in  some  raids,  but  Captain 
Pipe  was  disgusted  with  the  style  of  warfare.  He  was  averse  to  war- 
ring upon  the  settlers  and  bitterly  opposed  to  attacking  the  unoffending 

The  Moravians  were  kept  at  Detroit  for  several  weeks,  during  which 
the  commandant  and  the  Indian  agents  tried  to  induce  them  to  take  up 
the  cause  of  the  British,  but  they  refused  to  fight  on  either  side.  In 
order  to  get  rid  of  the  expense  of  keeping  them  they  were  acquitted  in 
November  and  sent  to  Upper  Sandusky,  there  to  be  kept  under  guard 
by  Half,-King,  head  chief  of  the  Wyandottes.  Provisions  soon  ran  low 
at  Sandusky  and  something  had  to  be  done,  so  a  party  of  ninety-six 
Moravian  Indians,  mostly  Delawares,  was  allowed  to  go  back  to  their 
villages  to  gather  the  unharvested  corn.  They  were  accompanied  by 
a  delegation  of  Wyandottes,  ostensibly  to  insure  their  return  to  the 
Half  King's  village,  but  perhaps  for  a  more  sinister  purpose.  Under 
the  lead  of  the  Wyandottes  they  divided  into  small  parties  and  went  by 
different  routes.  One  party,  led  by  Wyandottes,  surprised  Mrs.  Robert 
Wallace  in  her  cabin  during  the  absence  of  her  husband,  and,  with 
awful  barbarity,  killed  her  and  three  of  her  children.  The  bodies  of 
the  dead  were  stripped  and  the  bloody  clothing  was  carried  to  the  Mo- 
ravian village  of  Gnadenhutten,  and  there  left  in  the  cabins.  Another 
party  murdered  John  Fink,  an  American  settler,  and  carried  his  bloody 
clothing  to  the  village.  A  third  party  carried  John  Carpenter  of  Buf- 
falo Creek  into  captivity.  The  Wyandottes  then  went  away,  leaving 
the  Moravians  unguarded.  News  of  these  raids  caused  James  Marshel 
to  order  out  the  militia  of  Washington  county,  Pa.,  of  which  he  had 
command,  and  Col.  David  Williamson,  at  the  head  of  this  body  of  men, 


went  across  the  border  to  punish  the  marauders.  They  arrived  at  the 
Moravian  villages  and  took  the  Indians  into  custody  to  march  them 
away  to  Fort  Pitt,  but  after  they  had  shut  their  captives  in  two  of  the 
houses,  a  party  of  the  white  men  found  the  bloody  clothing  of  the  mur- 
dered settlers  hidden  about  the  houses.  They  concluded  that  the  Mo- 
ravians were  dangerous  hypocrites,  who  had  been  responsible  for  many 
of  the  murders.  Wild  with  passion  they  rushed  to  where  the  unarmed 
Indians  were  awaiting  transportation  to  Fort  Pitt.  Entering  the  houses, 
they  said  to  the  Indians,  "You  are  murderers  and  you  must  die. "  The 
Indians  sank  to  their  knees  and  began  to  pray,  when  one  of  the  rangers 
seized  a  mallet  and  struck  several  of  them  dead.  Handing  the  mallet 
to  another  the  slaughter  was  resumed,  guilty  and  innocent  falling 
alike,  until  ninety-four  of  the  ninety  six  Indians  lay  dead.  Two  Indian 
boys  alone  escaped  to  tell  the  dreadful  story.  This  murderous  act 
aroused  every  Indian  in  the  country,  and  those  who  had  entered  into 
the  marauds  of  the  British  in  a  half-hearted  way  before,  were  now  fired 
with  vengeance.  Their  wrath  was  visited  principally  upon  the  settlers, 
but  before  many  months  they  had  their  revenge  upon  the  soldiers  as 

In  the  summer  of  1781  the  Spanish  commandant  at  St.  Louis,  on 
the  Mississippi,  organized  a  raid  against  the  British  post  at  St.  Joseph 
on  Lake  Michigan.  With  about  300  men  he  marched  600  miles  across 
Illinois,  and  when  he  arrived  before  the  log  fort  at  the  mouth  of  the  St. 
Joseph  River,  the  small  British  garrison  took  to  the  woods  and  ran 
away  to  Detroit.  The  report  of  this  attack  created  some  alarm  at 
Detroit,  but  the  Spaniards  contented  themselves  with  destroying  the 
fort  and  burning  the  palisades  and  the  houses.  The  invaders  took  all 
the  stores  of  provisions  and  then  marched  back  to  St.  Louis.  It  was 
the  last  attempt  made  by  the  Spaniards  against  the  British. 




Martyrdom  of  Colonel  Crawford — He  is  Burned  at  the  Stake  by  the  Indians — 
Simon  Girty,  the  Renegade,  Scoffs  at  His  Agonies — Dr.  Knight's  Story  of  the 

In  the  spring  of  1782  Col  William  Crawford,  an  American  officer  of 
Westmoreland,  Pa.,  started  from  Pittsburg  with  480  mounted  volun- 
teers to  make  a  raid  against  the  Indians  of  the  Upper  Sandusky  vil- 
lages. General  Irvine,  commandant  at  Fort  Pitt,  supplied  hiin  with 
ammunition  and  sent  Dr.  John  Knight  and  John  Rose,  one  of  his  aides, 
to  accompany  the  expedition.  The  soldiers  met  a  large  party  of 
Indians  and  British  near  Upper  Sandusky  on  June  5  and  had  an  en- 
gagement at  a  place  known  as  Battle  Island,  situated  in  what  is  now 
Crane  township,  Wyandot  count3\  Captain  Elliott  and  Lieutenant 
Clinch,  of  the  British  force,  conducted  themselves  with  great  gallantry, 
as  did  John  Rose  and  John  Gunsalus  of  the  Americans.  Simon  Girty 
was  also  very  active  in  the  fight.  Darkness  parted  the  contestants, 
and  both  sides  slept  on  their  arms,  each  building  large  fires  and  then 
retiring  some  distance  to  avoid  a  surprise.  Instead  of  resuming  the 
fight  at  daybreak  Colonel  Crawford  made  a  fatal  mistake  by  waiting 
for  his  men  to  recuperate.  A  reinforcement  of  Shawnees  arrived  at  the 
British  camp  during  the  day.  The  Americans  learned  of  it,  and  at  a 
council  of  war  it  was  decided  to  retire  at  night  and  make  the  best  pos- 
sible retreat  from  the  dangerous  position.  During  the  march  through 
the  forest  that  night,  Colonel  Crawford,  Major  McClelland,  Captain 
Briggs,  Dr.  Knight,  John  Slover  and  about  twenty  others,  who  were 
riding  in  the  rear,  became  separated  from  the  command,  which  was  led 
by  Colonel  Williamson  and  John  Rose.  The  main  army  crossed  the 
Ohio  on  June  13,  losing  but  three  killed  and  eight  wounded  while 
en  route.  Colonel  Crawford  and  his  men  strayed  eastward  and  they 
were  captured  at  noon  on  June  7,  at  a  place  which  is  now  the  site  of 
Leesville,  Crawford  county,  Ohio.  A  party  of  Delawares  and  Shaw- 
nees took  them  toward  Sandusky,  but  the  prisoners  were  confident 
that   Girty   and    the    British    officers  would    procure    their   exchange. 


Captain  Pipe,  the  Delaware  chief,  told  them  they  would  come  to  no 
harm.  But  he  painted  black  the  faces  of  Crawford  and  ten  other  pris- 
oners, which  was  equivalent  to  a  death  warrant  among-  the  savages. 
Colonel  Crawford  and  Dr.  Knight  were  marched  in  the  rear  and  were 
guarded  by  Captain  Pipe  and  Wingemund,  another  Delaware  chief, 
while  the  other  prisoners  went  on  ahead.  Soon  after  setting  out 
Crawford  and  Knight  came  upon  the  bodies  of  four  of  the  other  prison- 
ers lying  mutilated  beside  the  road.  Crawford  asked  Captain  Pipe 
about  the  fate  of  his  son  William,  and  his  son-in-law,  William  Harrison, 
who  had  been  captured  during  the  battle,  and  was  told  that  they  had 
been  sent  to  Detroit  They  had,  however,  been  burnt  at  the  stake 
during  the  previous  night.  At  Tymoochtee  Creek  a  party  of  squaws 
and  boys  attacked  the  helpless  prisoners  who  were  just  ahead  of  Craw- 
ford and  Knight,  and  butchered  them.  Then  they  slapped  the  faces 
of  the  colonel  and  the  surgeon  with  the  bloody  scalps.  That  night 
Colonel  Crawford  was  stripped  naked,  beaten  with  switches,  and  tied 
to  a  post  about  fifteen  feet  high  with  enough  rope  to  enable  him  to 
walk  several  times  about  the  post.  Dr.  Knight  was  tied  at  a  short  dis- 
tance away  where  he  could  see  the  torturing  of  his  commander. 

"  Do  they  intend  to  burn  me,  Girty,"  asked  the  Colonel. 

"Yes,  5^ou  are  a  doomed  man,"  replied  Girty. 

Crawford  offered  $1,000  in  money  for  his  release  and,  it  is  said, 
offered  to  give  valuable  information,  but  the  Indians  were  determined 
to  avenge  the  murder  of  the  Moravians  upon  him  and  Dr.  Knight. 
He  had  known  Girty  nearly  all  his  life,  and  when  it  became  apparent 
that  he  must  endure  the  torture  he  composed  himself  like  a  brave  man 
and  said  to  the  renegade:  "I  shall  try  to  bear  it  patiently."  Captain 
Pipe  arose  and  delivered  an  impassioned  address  to  the  warriors,  re- 
citing the  story  of  the  Moravian  massacre.  At  the  conclusion  of  his 
speech  a  large  fire  of  hickory  poles  was  built  at  a  distance  of  twenty 
feet  from  the  post  where  Crawford  was  tied,  and  the  savages  with  yells 
of  frenzy  began  their  awful  work.  They  loaded  their  guns  with  pow- 
der only,  and  fired  seventy  charges  into  the  naked  flesh  of  their  victim 
at  such  close  range  that  the  burning  powder  was  driven  through 
Colonel  Crawford's  skin.  Then  they  cut  off  his  ears,  and  the  young 
boys  took  the  burning  poles  from  the  fire  and  jabbed  them  into  his 
fiesh.  The  squaws  scooped  up  the  coals  with  pieces  of  bark  and  threw 
them  upon  him  as  he  ran  about  the  post  to  escape  his  tormentors. 
Soon  the  ground  was  a  mass  of  burning  coals  beneath  his  feet. 


"Girty!  Girty!  "  called  the  colonel  in  tones  of  agony,  "shoot  me  to 
the  heart  and  end  this  torture." 

Girty  laughed  in  a  heartless  manner  and  said:  "  How  would  I  shoot 
you  ?     Don't  you  see  I  have  no  gun  ?  " 

Then  he  turned  to  joke  with  an  Indian  who  stood  beside  him,  ridi- 
culing the  sorry  figure  the  colonel  was  making.  Crawford  walked 
about  the  stake  for  a  long  time,  praying  for  death.  The  odor  of  his 
burning  flesh  filled  the  air,  and  his  feet  were  broiling  upon  the  coals, 
but  he  showed  no  signs  of  weakness.  A  young  Indian  rushed  in, 
knocked  him  down  and  kneeling  on  his  prostrate  body  tore  his  scalp 
off.  The  tortured  man  lay  as  if  dead  on  the  ground.  A  squaw  ran  up 
and  threw  a  quantity  of  hot  coals  upon  his  bared  skull  and  he  arose 
and  shook  them  off,  and  then  resumed  his  agonizing  march  about  the 
stake.  His  scalp  was  slapped  against  Dr.  Knight's  face,  and  the  doc- 
tor was  told  that  he  would  be  treated  in  the  same  fashion  at  the  Shaw- 
nee town  next  evening.  For  three  hours  Colonel  Crawford  walked  in 
his  fiery  trial  and  then  he  fell.  No  further  tortures  could  bring  him 
to  his  feet,  so  the  coals  of  the  great  fire  were  heaped  above  his  body  and 
it  was  totally  consumed.  Dr.  Knight  escaped  that  evening  and  brought 
the  story  to  Pittsburg. 

In  the  spring  of  1782  Col.  William  Caldwell,  of  Detroit,  estabhshed 
his  headquarters  among  the  Miamis  and  Delawares  where  Piqua,  Ohio, 
now  stands.  His  lieutenants  were  McKee,  Elliot,  and  Simon  Girty. 
They  had  a  force  of  1,100  Indians  at  hand,  and  300  more  within  a  day's 
march.  Captain  Joseph  Brant,  of  Detroit,  was  also  with  this  army. 
In  July  they  made  a  raid  into  Kentucky  and  attacked  Bryan's  Station, 
but  could  not  capture  it.  Col.  John  Todd,  a  Kentuckian,  started,  with 
150  Kentuckians,  to  relieve  the  garrison,  but  the  siege  had  already 
been  raised.  Todd  and  his  men  came  upon  the  enemy  at  Blue  Lick 
Springs  on  August  19,  and  fell  into  an  ambush.  Seventy  riien  were 
killed  on  the  spot  and  seven  were  taken  prisoners,  while  the  British 
and  Indians  lost  but  eleven  men.  That  fall  General  Clark  made  a  raid 
into  the  Shawnee  towns  and  destroyed  the  villages  at  Piqua  and  Lori- 
mer's  trading  post  at  the  mouth  of  the  Miami.  His  150  rangers  lost 
but  one  man  killed,  and  they  killed  ten  Indians  and  took  seven  prison- 
ers. For  some  time  thereafter  the  Indians  could  not  be  induced  to 
attack  American  settlers. 

Girty's  suspicions  of  the  Moravians  were  not  allayed;  he  had  a 
horror  of  capture  by  the  Americans,  knowing  that  he  would  be  exe- 


cuted  as  a  traitor.  In  March,  1782,  he  led  another  company  to  the 
Moravian  settlements  and  hurried  the  missionaries  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Sandusky  River  and  from  there  they  were  taken  to  Detroit  in 
ships.  This  time  they  were  treated  kindly,  but  De  Peyster  said  they 
must  not  remain  longer  in  their  settlements  on  the  Ohio  border;  that 
they  could  either  settle  in  the  Michigan  region  north  of  Detroit,  or 
they  could  go  back  to  their  towns  in  Central  Pennsylvania.  Their 
Indian  followers,  by  direction  of  the  Indian  agents,  had  been  scattered 
as  much  as  possible,  but  a  few  came  to  Detroit  to  join  the  missionaries. 
The  latter  were  David  Zeisberger,  Jacob  Jungman,  Gottlieb  Senseman, 
John  Heckevvelder,  John  Bull,  William  Edwards,  Michael  Jung  and 
others.  They  discussed  the  proposition  made  by  De  Peyster,  and  de- 
cided to  settle  in  and  about  Detroit.  As  the  Moravian  Indians  pre- 
ferred to  remain  in  Detroit,  Heckewelder  and  Senseman  remained 
with  them  at  first,  while  the  others  went  up  to  Lake  St.  Clair  and 
made  a  new  settlement  on  the  south  side  of  the  Clinton  River  near  the 
present  site  of  Mt.  Clemens.  They  named  the  settlement  New  Gnaden- 
hutten,  in  memory  of  their  abandoned  settlement  in  the  Ohio  valley. 
Here  they  remained  until  1786,  preaching  the  gospel  to  both  whites 
and  Indians.  Meanwhile  the  Chippewa  Indians  resented  their  settling 
on  these  lands,  which  they  claimed  to  belong  to  that  tribe.  The  Chip- 
pewas  were  willing  that  the  Moravians  should  settle  there  during  the 
war,  but  now  that  peace  was  restored  they  must  depart.  Major 
Ancram,  the  British  commandant  at  Detroit  from  1784  to  1786,  sus- 
tained the  claim  of  the  Chippewas  and  told  the  missionaries  not  to 
clear  any  more  land.  When  they  were  leaving,  Heckewelder  asked 
several  leading  Detroiters,  among  whom  was  John  Askin,  to  intercede 
with  Major  Ancram  to  have  their  property  protected,  as  their  settle- 
ment of  nearly  sixty  families,  exclusive  of  the  missionaries,  owned 
twenty-four  log  houses,  and  a  number  of  persons  were  waiting  there 
intending  to  occupy  them  after  their  departure.  The  missionary  asked 
for  compensation  for  the  houses  and  other  improvements.  Major 
Ancram  and  John  Askin,  in  a  joint  letter,  said  they  would  advance 
^200  on  the  prospective  sale  of  the  houses,  and  that  persons  would  be 
detached  to  take  charge  of  the  property  untillt  was  sold.  They  were 
also  guarantied  protection  and  safe  conduct  to  their  destination  when 
they  left  the  settlement.  The  Moravians  left  New  Gnadenhutten  in 
twenty-two  canoes  on  April  20,  1786,  and  came  to  Detroit;  they  left 
Detroit  on  April  28,  on  the  sloops  Beaver  and  Mackinaw,  and  after  four 


weeks'  tossing  about  in  Lake  Erie  storms,  reached  the  mouth  of  Cuya- 
hoga River,  at  the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Cleveland.  Here  they 
built  several  bark  canoes,  and  traversing  the  Cuyahoga  and  Tuscara- 
was Rivers,  they  finally  reached  old  Gnadenhutten,  in  what  is  now 
Tuscarawas  county,  near  New  Philadelphia,  Ohio.  Congress  bestowed 
upon  them  three  tracts  of  4,000  acres  and  at  that  place.  They  lived 
there  until  about  1807  when  the  influx  of  white  settlers  and  traders, 
and  their  whisky,  demoralized  their  Indian  converts.  The  settlement 
was  then  removed  to  River  Raisin,  in  Ohio.  Its  after  history  may  be 
learned  in  works  devoted  to  the  subject.  At  the  present  day  the  de- 
nomination has  over  100,000  communicants  and  its  theological  head- 
quarters are  at  Bethlehem,  Pa.,  and  at  Salem,  N.  C. 

Father  Potier,  the  Jesuit  in  charge  of  the  Huron  mission  of  Detroit 
at  Sandwich,  was  very  feeble  in  the  spring  of  1781.  On  July  16,  while 
in  his  study,  he  was  attacked  by  vertigo  and  fell  down.  His  head 
struck  an  andiron  in  the.  fireplace,  his  skull  was  fractured  and  he  died 
without  regaining  consciousness.  Commandant  De  Peyster,  following 
his  instructions  in  regard  to  the  Jesuit  property,  immediately  seized 
everything  at  the  mission,  including  the  priest's  papers,  hoping  to 
acquire  valuable  information  in  regard  to  the  French  element  and  their 
relations  with  the  Indians,  but  he  was  unsuccessful.  It  was  found  that 
Father  Potier,  anticipating  such  action,  had  sold  all  the  lands  of  the 
mission,  which  had  been  granted  by  the  Indians,  including  the  church, 
mission  house  and  burying  ground,  to  Francois  Pratt,  one  of  his  parish- 
ioners, taking  a  mortgage  running  to  the  Company  of  Jesus.  This 
mortgage  in  the  course  of  time  was  paid  to  Francis  Xavier  Hubert, 
vicar-general  of  Detroit,  and  afterward  bishop  of  Quebec.  The  church 
and  cemetery  were  both  deeded  to  the  church  several  years  afterward. 
The  papers  seized  did  not  contain  the  information  sought  by  the  British 
commandant.  It  was  found  that  Father  Potier  had  removed  the  leaves 
of  his  private  diary,  which  referred  to  events  in  1761-63,  and  thus  the 
curiosity  of  the  commandant  was  balked.  The  death  of  the  pious  and 
able  priest  ended  the  Huron  mission  of  Detroit.  The  later  history  of 
the  Hurons  has  been  already  related  in  this  book. 

When  peace  was  declared  in  1783,  Girty  was  ordered  to  call  all  the 
chiefs  of  eleven  Indian  nations  to  Detroit.  De  Peyster  told  them  that  the 
war  was  over  and  that  they  should  now  bury  the  hatchet.  Presents 
were  sent  to  all  the  tribes,  and  while  McKee  and  Elliott  became  Indian 
agents,  Girty  became  an  interpreter  at  the  post  of  Detroit.      In  1784 


he  married  Catherine  Malott,  whose  parents  and  brother  and  sister,  as 
before  related,  had  been  butchered  on  the  Ohio  during  the  wars. 
They  settled  upon  a  piece  of  land  about  a  mile  and  a  half  below  Fort 
Maiden  (Amherstburg),  near  the  mouth  of  the  Detroit  River. 

It  is  a  characteristic  of  the  British  that  they  never  yield  territorial 
possessions  with  good  grace.  The  terms  of  the  treaty  of  Versailles  sur- 
rendered Detroit  and  Michigan  to  the  Americans,  and  it  gave  to  the 
Americans  the  sole  privilege  of  purchasing  lands  from  the  western 
Indians  within  certain  limits.  When  the  British  had  reviewed  the 
treaty  they  considered  that  they  had  surrendered  too  much.  The  vast 
extent  of  the  western  territory  was  not  realized  by  the  commissioners 
who  signed  the  treaty,  but  was  better  known  in  this  country.  Although 
no  protest  against  the  terms  of  the  treaty  already  signed  could  be  made 
by  the  British  with  any  show  of  propriety,  there  were  pretexts  at  hand 
which  gave  them  an  excuse  for  holding  fast  to  Detroit,  Mackinaw, 
Niagara,  Oswego  and  Fort  Miami  on  the  Maumee,  while  they  endeav- 
ored to  push  their  claims  for  other  territory  which  they  had  already 


Great  Britain's  Motives  for  Ignoring  the  Treaty  of  Peace — Determined  to  Hold  the 
Border  Posts  from  Which  to  Renew  the  War  on  the  Colonists — Why  They  Held 
Detroit  Unjustly  for  Thirteen  Years. 

The  generally  accepted  theory  among  American  authorities  is  that 
the  excuses  made  by  the  British  for  not  carrying  out  their  treaty  agree- 
ments were  merely  pretexts  to  cover  their  determined  purpose  to  re- 
tain possession  of  Detroit  and  the  Northwest.  The  reasons  were 
apparent.  By  holding  this  territory  they  controlled  the  lucrative  fur 
trade,  which  was  a  virtual  monopoly  in  the  hands  of  the  Hudson  Bay 
Company  and  the  merchants  of  Montreal.  The  representatives  of 
their  interests  in  London  were  in  close  touch  with  the  British  govern- 
ment, which  is  always  solicitous  for  the  advancement  of  trade — a  na- 
tion's chief  strength.  The  retention  of  the  Northwest  would  also  give 
a  vantage  ground  from  which  to  renew  the  war  against  the  colonies. 
The  English  never  give  up  a  project  until  after  they  are  defeated,  and 


sometimes  not  then,  and  there  was  a  strong  sentiment  at  home  that 
this  territory  should  be  reclaimed  by  the  mother  country.  Above  all 
things  it  would  enable  the  British  to  retain  the  support  of  the  Indians, 
who  could  be  depended  on  to  fight  England's  battles  in  the  event  of  war. 
That  this  object  was  not  only  entertained,  but  that  it  succeeded,  is  evi- 
denced by  the  fact  that  the  Indians  of  the  West,  within  the  American 
territory,  were  the  allies  of  the  'British  in  the  war  of  1812.  In  this 
struggle  England's  savage  contingent  committed  some  of  the  most 
devilish  atrocities  in  the  annals  of  so-called  civilized  warfare.  There  is 
also  damning  evidence  that  the  English  incited  the  Indians  against  the 
American  white  settlers,  and  were  responsible  for  the  most  horrible 
crimes  against  men,  women  and  children.  It  is  shown  by  official 
records  that  as  far  back  as  1778  the  redskins  were  being  urged  to  vio- 
lence by  the  infamous  Simon  Girty  and  other  agents,  and  that  under 
Girty's  orders  they  assisted  in  bringing  guns  to  Detroit  for  the  pur- 
pose of  strengthening  the  British  position.  In  1793,  prompted  by  the 
same  power  behind  the  throne,  the  general  council  of  Indians  declared 
that  they  would  not  believe  that  the  United  States  intended  to  do 
them  justice  unless  it  was  agreed  that  Ohio  should  be  the  boundary  line 
between  them  and  the  Indian  territory  of  the  Northwest.  This  was  in 
accordance  with  the  British  policy  of  having  a  "  buffer  state  "  next  to 
their  own  dominions  in  America,  which  could  be  controlled  in  the 
British  interests.  The  American  government  would  not  acquiesce  in 
this  proposition  to  alienate  the  Northwest,  because  it  knew  that  it  was 
inspired  by  Great  Britain. 

Why  this  section  was  not  evacuated  by  the  British  in  compliance  with 
the  treaty  of  1783,  has  ever  since  been  a  subject  of  controversy  and  has 
not  yet  been  determined.  It  was  among  the  stipulations  of  that  treaty 
that  Great  Britain  should  be  allowed  a  reasonable  time  within  which  to 
withdraw  her  forces  from  this  country,  but  even  the  most  radical  de- 
fenders of  the  British  policy  do  not  attempt  to  claim  that  her  action 
was  justified  under  this  provision.  It  took  eight  years  to  drive  British 
soldiers  from  the  United  States,  and  that  Great  Britain  should  take 
thirteen  years  to  completely  withdraw  from  the  victorious  country, 
seemed  to  be  an  arrogant  breach  of  faith.  The  contention  made  by 
the  British  and  their  defenders  ever  since  has  been  that  the  United 
States  had  failed  to  comply  with  the  requirements  of  the  treaty.  A 
special  count  in  this  charge  was  that  British  merchants  were  creditors 
of  merchants  in  this  country ;  that  the  new  government  had  agreed  in 


the  treaty  to  guarantee  the  payment  of  these  debts ;  that  several  States 
had  refused  to  comply  with  this  agreement  because  they  had  no  con- 
stitutional right  to  do  so ;  and  because  of  all  this  the  British  government 
rightly  refused  to  surrender  the  sovereignty  of  the  northwest  territory 
until  the  British  merchants  were  paid  or  secured.  The  excuse  of  the 
American  merchants  and  others  for  not  paying  their  British  debts  was 
that  slaves  which  had  been  taken  from  some  of  the  settlers  by  the  Brit- 
ish, were  to  be  restored,  but  the  return  had  not  been  made.  Baron 
Steuben,  who  was  a  close  friend  of  Washington,  was  dispatched  on 
diplomatic  service  to  Quebec,  to  secure  an  adjustment  of  the  existing 
disputes.  Baron  Steuben  asked  for  the  fulfillment  of  the  treaty  by  the 
surrendering  of  the  forts  in  the  lake  country,  Detroit,  Niagara  and 
Oswego,  but  he  was  coolly  informed  that  Great  Britain  had  concluded 
to  hold  them  because  when  the  treaty  was  signed  the  commission- 
ers had  not  understood  that  so  much  valuable  territory  was  being  sur 
rendered.  Steuben  had  intended  to  proceed  up  the  lakes  and  take 
formal  possession,  but  Sir  Frederick  Haldimand,  governor  at  Quebec, 
refused  to  grant  him  passports.  The  purpose  of  the  British  was  then 
unmasked,  and  the  old  practices  were  resorted  to  of  setting  the  Indians 
upon  the  American  settlers.  This  engendered  a  bitterness  which  not 
only  led  to  a  sharp  diplomatic  correspondence,  but  in  1794  made  a 
second  war  imminent. 

In  1782,  when  the  fortune  of  war  had  turned  in  favor  of  the  Ameri- 
can cause,  the  Iroquois,  who  had  fought  for  the  British,  were  greatly 
disheartened.  Their  employers  had  promised  to  drive  the  Americans 
away  from  the  Indian  territory  they  had  seized,  and  to  place  the  orig- 
inal owners  again  in  possession.  When  the  inability  of  the  British  to 
do  this  became  apparent  the  Indians  reproached  Governor  Haldimand 
and  his  agents,  saying  that  the  Americans  were  about  to  win  their  in- 
dependence and  become  rulers  of  the  country.  In  that  case  the 
Iroquois  would  forever  lose  their  lands  and  the  Americans  would  cer- 
tainly wreak  vengeance  upon  them  for  the  part  they  had  taken.  The 
Oneidas,  on  the  other  hand,  they  said,  had  done  no  fighting,  but  they 
had  been  given  a  safe  refuge  at  Fort  Stanwix  and  Schenectady,  when 
they  were  attacked  by  Joseph  Brant  and  the  rest  of  the  Indians  of  the 
Six  Nations  in  1780.  Brant  had  destroyed  their  villages,  but  they 
would  be  restored  to  their  lands  and  could  soon  rebuild,  while  the 
other  five  nations  would  be  outcasts.  In  1783,  when  the  American  set- 
tlers had  begun  to  flock  into  the   Ohio  valley,  the  Indians  were  in- 


formed  at  a  council,  by  the  British  agents,  that  the  Americans  were 
preparing  to  invade  their  country  to  kill  off  the  game  and  to  drive  the 
aborigines,  who  were  rightful  owners,  out  of  their  possessions.  The 
agents  said  the  Americans  were  plotting  to  deprive  the  Indians  of  the 
protection  of  their  great  father,  the  king  of  England.  The  character 
given  the  "Yankees"  by  the  British  agents  was  far  from  flattering, 
and  when  the  council  broke  up  its  members  went  home  to  inflame  the 
prejudice  and  hatred  of  their  people.  The  British  agents  promised 
them  arms  and  ammunition,  to  be  delivered  at  Detroit,  and  rewards 
were  to  be  paid  for  the  scalps  of  American  settlers  who  were  found 
north  of  the  Ohio  or  west  of  New  York.  Spain  was  brought  into  the 
quarrel  as  a  sort  of  ally  to  Great  Britain.  The  Americans  were  for- 
bidden the  right  to  navigate  the  Mississippi  River,  and  when  the  right 
was  insisted  upon,  Spanish  agents  were  sent  into  the  Indian  country 
to  aid  in  perfecting  an  Indian  confederacy,  which,  it  was  believed, 
would  prevent  all  attempts  to  extend  the  colonies  westward.  Alex- 
ander McKee,  the  British  Indian  agent,  was  entrusted  with  the  task  of 
uniting  the  northern  tribes  in  a  confederacy.  He  painted  himself  like 
an  Indian  and  donned  the  Indian  garb  to  impress  upon  the  Indians 
that  he  was  their  friend  and  brother.  Each  tribe  he  visited  was  in- 
formed that  all  the  other  tribes  were  in  arms  ready  for  a  descent  upon 
the  settlements  of  Virginia,  Ohio  and  Kentucky.  All  the  horrors  of 
Revolutionary  days  were  to  be  repeated  and  the  savage  dogs  of  war 
were  to  be  set  upon  the  settlers  once  more. 

Again  Detroit  became  the  emporium  for  hatchets  and  guns,  powder 
and  ball,  red-handled  scalping  knives  and  rum,  and  these  were  dealt 
out  to  the  Indians  with  a  lavish  hand.  Hunters  were  sent  out  against 
the  noblest  of  game  and  were  promised  rewards  for  human  scalps. 
During  the  days  of  the  Revolution  there  was  a  secret  understanding 
between  the  variovis  commandants  at  Detroit  and  the  merchant-justice, 
Dejean,  and  in  consequence  there  was  no  report  of  the  revenues  of  the 
post.  In  1784  Henry  Hamilton,  the  ex-commandant,  was  ordered  to 
prepare  a  statement  of  all  the  revenues  of  that  period,  and  his  report 
to  Governor  General  Haldimand  says:  "  I  have  the  honor  to  enclose  to 
your  excellency  the  best  statement  I  have  been  able  to  procure  of  the 
territorial  and  casual  revenues  collected  at  Detroit  between  April,  1775, 
and  April,  1782,  amounting  to  ;^2,729  2s.  Gd.,  New  York  currency,  oi 
_^1,535  2s.  Sd.  sterling;  as  required  in  the  words  of  Major  Matthews's 
letter  of  October,  1782." 


De  Pe)'-ster  was  ver}'-  well  satisfied  with  his  command  at  Detroit, 
where  he  also  succeeded  in  holding  all  the  revenues,  and  he  wanted  to 
remain  permanently  at  the  post.  But  Lieutenant  Jehu  Hay,  who  was 
stationed  at  Niagara,  had  family  influence,  which,  in  1782,  had  secured 
his  appointment  as  lieutenant-governor  of  Detroit,  making  him  the 
superior  of  De  Peyster.  The  latter  was  a  man  of  considerable  ability 
and  far  above  Hay  in  rank.  The  contemplated  change  provided  that 
De  Peyster  was  to  be  continued  in  the  position  of  commandant,  but  he 
rallied  his  friends  to  his  support  and  they  remonstrated  with  Governor 
Haldimand,  saying  that  it  would  be  ridiculous  to  put  a  half-pay  lieu- 
tenant and  a  man  of  no  apparent  ability  in  authority  over  a  colonel  of 
the  British  army,  who  had  done  long  service  for  the  king.  De  Peyster 
by  various  machinations  managed  to  hold  to  his  position  for  more  than 
a  year  after  his  successor  was  appointed.  In  the  fall  of  1783  he  was 
transferred  to  Niagara  and  Hay  was  ordered  to  Detroit,  as  it  was  evi- 
dent that  the  two  officers  never  could  be  at  peace.  Hay  started  for 
Detroit,  but  was  taken  sick  with  malarial  fever  and  went  to  Montreal 
instead,  where  he  remained  until  the  following  summer.  He  came  to 
his  command  in  1784  and  proceeded  to  file  charges  against  his  prede- 
cessor. Commandant  De  Peyster  was  charged  with  official  neglect  of 
duty,  incompetence  and  crookedness.  The  charges  stated  that  De  Peys- 
ter had  permitted  certain  residents  to  inclose  lands  adjoining  their  prop- 
erty upon  payment  of  a  fee;  that  he  had  neglected  the  fortifications  so 
that  the  whole  river  front  of  the  palisades  had  fallen  outward  and  floated 
off  down  the  river,  compelling  the  erection  of  a  new  front  to  the  fort  at 
considerable  expense.  He  was  also  charged  with  permitting  large  quan 
titles  of  wood  to  be  piled  close  to  the  walls  of  the  fort,  thereby  endanger- 
ing its  security.  De  Peyster,  in  a  letter  written  to  Governor  Haldimand 
from  Niagara,  on  October  27,  1784,  replied  in  detail.  The  lands  inclosed 
were  fenced  by  his  order,  he  said.  They  were  situated  on  a  hill  near 
the  fort,  immediately  back  of  a  row  of  houses,  and  had  long  been  a 
dumping  ground  for  rubbish  and  a  resort  for  drunken  Indians.  He 
had  ordered  them  inclosed  to  get  rid  of  a  nuisance  and  had  received  no 
fee  from  adjoining  property  owners.  This  he  asserted  "on  the  honor 
of  a  gentleman,"  High  water  in  the  river  he  said  had  washed  away 
the  palisades  before  the  damage  of  the  freshet  could  be  prevented,  and 
he  had  allowed  settlers  to  pile  their  wood  on  the  high  ground  about  the 
fort  in  order  to  prevent  it  from  being  washed  away  in  the  flood.  But 
it  is  a  notable  fact   that   Detroit    River  is  not  subject  to  floods,  and 


either  the  season  alluded  to  was  an  unusual  one,  or  De  Peyster's  verac- 
ity may  justly  be  questioned.  Hay  did  not  succeed  in  ruining  De  Pey- 
ster,  but  the  crown  demanded  and  reserved  the  revenues  of  the  post  so 
that  his  office  was  less  profitable  than  he  had  anticipated.  His  disap- 
pointment so  preyed  upon  him  that  in  the  fall  of  1785  he  had  another 
attack  of  malarial  fever  and  died  just  thirteen  months  after  his  arrival. 

Col.  Arent  Schuyler  De  Peyster  was  a  great-grandson  of  Johannes 
De  Peyster,  a  Huguenot  refugee  who  settled  on  Manhattan  Island  un- 
der Dutch  rule  in  a  very  early  day  and  died  there  in  1685.  Colonel 
De  Peyster  was  born  in  New  York  in  1736.  Although  of  French  an- 
cestry and  American  birth,  he  was  always  attached  to  the  British  cause. 
He  was  a  soldier  in  the  British  army  during  the  last  days  of  the  seven 
years  war,  which  resulted  in  the  downfall  of  the  French.  His  siding 
with  the  British  against  the  people  of  his  own  blood  was  probably  due 
in  part  to  the  religious  feeling,  for  the  descendants  of  the  Huguenots 
seldom  forgot  the  persecutions  of  their  ancestors  at  the  hands  of  the 
Catholic  French,  and  they  no  doubt  found  the  society  of  the  Protestant 
English  more  congenial.  His  American  birth  and  French  ancestry  in 
part  explain  why  De  Peyster  was  not  made  lieutenant-governor  at  De- 
troit, and  why  the  office  was  given  to  Jehu  Hay,  an  inferior  soldier  of 
British  connections.  De  Peyster  was  a  man  of  education  and  consider- 
able refinement;  he  had  a  taste  for  literature  and  his  accomplished 
lady  was  the  social  leader  in  Detroit  during  the  years  of  their  residence 
at  this  place.  Soon  after  the  close  of  the  war  of  the  Revolution  he  left 
Niagara  and  w^ent  to  Dumfries,  Scotland.  At  the  close  of  the  French 
Revolution,  which  was  followed  by  the  rise  of  Napoleon,  the  British 
people  were  constantly  expecting  a  French  invasion  and  every  town 
had  its  body  of  militia.  De  Peyster  became  an  officer  and  a  drill  mas- 
ter of  the  Dumfries  soldiers  in  1796,  when  he  made  the  acquaintance 
of  a  tall,  swarthy,  black-eyed  recruit  named  Robert  Burns.  The  poet 
and  the  soldier  became  fast  friends  in  spite  of  their  difference  in  social 

When  Burns  was  stricken  with  his  last  illness  and  was  confined  to  his 
bed  De  Peyster  sent  daily  to  inquire  after  his  welfare,  and  this  atten- 
tion pleased  the  poet  so  much  he  wrote  his  last  verses;  "A  Poem  on 
Life,"  directed  to  his  commander.      The  first  stanza  reads: 

"  My  honored  Colonel,  deep  1  feel 
Your  interest  in  the  poet's  weal. 
Ah !  sma'  heart  ha'e  I  now  to  speel 


The  steep  Parnassus 
Surrounded  thus  by  bolus,  pill 
And  potion  glasses. " 

De  Peyster  was  himself  a  poet  of  some  pretensions,  having  published 
a  small  volume  of  verses.  He  also  conducted  a  political  controversy 
with  Burns  in  the  Dumfries  Journal.  De  Peyster  died  at  Dumfries  in 

In  the  year  1784  a  Mr.  Brass  came  from  the  east  and  erected  a  saw 
mill  and  grist  mill  at  Detroit.  The  expense  was  borne  by  govern- 
ment and  Governor  Haldimand  paid  ^485  New  York  currency,  or 
about  $1,200,  for  the  two  jobs. 


Indian  Wars  Following  the  Revolution — British  Influence  Causes  Constant  Vio- 
lations of  Treaties — Disastrous  Campaigns  of  Gen.  Josiah  Harmar  and  Gen.  Arthur 
St.  Clair— Mad  Anthony  Wayne  Wins  a  Signal  Victory— 1784-1792. 

In  1784  murders  were  common  in  all  the  region  about  Pittsburg, 
and  Indian  raids  from  Detroit  were  frequent.  Col.  Josiah  Harmar,  of 
the  Continental  army,  was  ordered  to  mass  a  strong  force  of  Pennsyl- 
vania rangers  at  Fort  Pitt  in  1784,  and  to  call  a  council  with  the  Indians 
of  the  West  for  the  purpose  of  restoring  peace  on  the  border.  The 
troops  were  to  serve  as  a  guard  for  Arthur  Lee,  Richard  Butler  and 
George  Rogers  Clark,  the  treaty  commissioners  appointed  by  Congress. 
Messages  were  sent  to  all  the  tribes  asking  their  chiefs  to  come  to  the 
council,  but  McKee  and  Elliott  warned  the  British  at  Detroit  that  peace 
would  be  followed  by  an  encroachment  of  American  settlers,  and  these 
agents  were  sent  in  company  with  Simon  Girty  to  dissuade  the  Indians 
from  making  a  treaty.  A  treaty  was  finally  made  with  the  Wyan- 
dottes,  Delawares,  Chippewas  and  Ottawas,  and  signed  at  Fort  Mcin- 
tosh on  the  Ohio,  in  January,  1785.  The  British  agents  kept  the 
Shawnees,  Cherokees,  Senecas  or  Mingoes,  and  the  Miamis  from  join- 
ing, and  stirred  them  up  to  renew  hostilities  against  the  Americans. 
The  Cherokees  made  a  raid  down  the  Scioto,  Hocking,  Muskingum  and 
Tuscarawas  valleys  in  September,  1785.      In  November  another  coun- 


cil  was  called  by  Congress  at  the  mouth  of  the  Miami  River,  but  Simon 
Girty  and  Colonel  Caldwell,  of  Detroit,  worked  against  it  among  the 
Indians,  The  Americans  built  a  fort  called  Fort  Finney  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Miami  River,  and  on  February  1  another  treaty  was  signed. 
By  the  terms  of  this  treaty  the  Shawnees  were  allotted  all  the  territory 
lying  between  the  Miami  and  the  Wabash  Rivers  and  south  of  the  ter- 
ritory of  the  Miamis  and  Wyandottes.  It  was  agreed  that  no  settlers 
were  to  encroach  in  this  region.  No  sooner  had  the  treaty  been 
signed  than  McKee,  Elliott  and  Girty  went  into  the  Wabash  valley  to 
persuade  the  Indians  that  they  had  been  robbed  by  the  terms  of  the 
treaty,  and  in  the  spring  of  1786,  two  months  after  the  signing  of  the 
treaty,  the  Shawnees  were  on  the  war  path  in  pursuit  of  settlers  in  the 
Scioto  and  Hocking  valleys.  This  kind  of  see-sawing  made  too  much 
work  for  the  British  Indian  agents.  They  saw  that  the  Indians  were 
inclined  to  make  peace  with  the  settlers,  so  in  June  they  gathered  forty 
chiefs  of  the  various  nations  and  went  with  them  to  Niagara  to  confer 
with  Sir  John  Johnson,  son  of  the  late  Sir  William.  Sir  John  told  the 
Indians  if  they  continued  living  independently  and  making  war  as  in- 
dependent tribes,  they  would  soon  be  exterminated.  Their  only  hope 
for  preservation  against  the  encroachments  of  the  Americans  was  to 
organize  as  one  nation.  In  that  case,  he  said,  they  would  be  great  in 
peace  or  war.  His  language  was  vague  and  diplomatic,  but  the  In- 
dians understood  it  as  advising  them  to  make  a  general  war  upon 
the  American  settlers  in  order  to  preserve  themselves  from  destruction. 
Then  Joseph  Brant,  the  great  Mohawk  chief,  also  known  as  Thayan- 
danega,  made  a  tour  of  Canada  and  gathered  up  another  lot  of  chiefs 
at  Niagara  to  listen  to  Sir  John  Johnson's  words  of  wisdom.  Brant 
was  a  well  educated  Indian,  having  received  his  schooling  at  the  ex- 
pense of  Sir  William  Johnson,  at  Willoughby,  Conn.  He  held  a  com- 
mission as  captain  in  the  British  army  and  was  a  man  of  ability.  At 
the  conclusion  of  this  conference  the  forty  chiefs  were  loaded  with 
presents  and  supplied  liberally  with  rum,  while  Girty,  Elliott,  McKee 
and  Colonel  Caldwell  were  granted  tracts  of  land  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Detroit  River  near  the  present  site  of  Amherstburg.  A  third  council 
was  afterward  held  in  the  British  interest,  at  the  Huron  village  on  De- 
troit River  (Sandwich).  Representatives  of  the  Iroquois  or  Six  Na- 
tions, and  the  Wyandottes,  Ottawas,  Miamis,  Shawnees,  Cherokees, 
Chippewas,  Potawatomies  and  Wabashes  were  present  at  this  assembly, 
which    took    place    December  18,   1786.      There  a  memorial  was  pre- 


pared  by  the  British  representatives  to  be  presented  to  the  American 
Congress.  It  pledged  the  several  tribes  to  peace  forever,  providing 
there  should  be  no  further  influx  of  settlers  into  the  western  territory. 
Even  the  chiefs  had  some  misgivings  as  to  the  good  faith  of  this  docu- 
ment, so  each  man  signed  the  totem  of  his  tribe  instead  of  signing  his 
individual  mark.  The  memorial  came  to  naught,  as  its  purpose  was 
plainly  apparent 

During  the  summer  of  1786  Benjamin  Logan,  a  Kentucky  pioneer, 
led  a  raid  through  the  villages  of  the  Shawnees,  who  had  so  soon 
broken  their  treaty,  and  captured  eighty  prisoners  besides  killing 
twenty  of  their  warriors. 

In  1787  the  American  government  held  out  various  inducements  to 
soldiers  of  the  late  war  if  they  would  settle  in  the  Ohio  valley  and  the 
tributary  country,  which  was  at  that  time  ceded  to  the  government  by 
Virginia  and  Connecticut.  There  was  no  cessation  of  murder  or  mas- 
sacre, however.  Between  the  years  1783  and  1790  over  1,500  men, 
women  and  children  were  slaughtered  by  savages  and  their  scalps  were 
brought  to  Detroit.  Congress  saw  that  a  heavy  blow  must  be  struck 
at  the  allied  Indians  and  British,  or  the  war  of  extermination  would  go 
on  indefinitely.  It  became  necessary  for  the  settlers  and  the  British 
to  come  together  once  more  in  a  death  grapple  in  order  to  secure 

Gen.  Josiah  Harmar,  a  distinguished  Pennsylvania  officer,  was 
'authorized  to  collect  an  army  and  make  a  raid  against  the  hostiles  in 
1789.  He  was  better  adapted  for  civilized  warfare  than  Indian  fight- 
ing, but  when  he  had  mustered  a  motley  crew  of  1,400  men  he  thought 
he  was  marching  to  a  certain  victory.  General  Knox,  secretary  of  war, 
foolishly  sent  word  to  the  British  at  Detroit  that  a  war  was  to  be  waged 
against  Indians  only;  the  British  immediately  notified  the  Indians  and 
equipped  them  for  the  conflict.  Harmar's  force  was  badly  clothed,  ill 
fed  and  poorly  armed,  and  there  was  little  discipline  among  his  troops. 
When  the  Indians  retired  beyond  the  Wabash,  Harmar  began  to  fear 
they  would  not  make  a  stand  against  him.  He  finally  encountered  the 
Indians  in  large  numbers  where  the  city  of  Fort  Wayne,  Ind.,  now 
stands.  They  surprised  his  camp,  routed  the  undisciplined  soldiers, 
and  many  were  left  dead  on  the  field.  Harmar  retired  in  disgrace  to 
Fort  Washington — the  present  site  of  Cincinnati.  Success  made  the  In- 
dians all  the  fiercer  and  the  settlers  of  the  West  were  panic  stricken  at 
their  plight. 


General  St.  Clair  was  called  to  Washington's  home  and  the  president 
gave  him  careful  advice  in  regard  to  fighting  Indians.  He  furnished 
him  with  a  force  of  2,300  regulars,  who  had  fought  in  the  Revolution, 
and  told  him  to  fortify  himself  in  every  possible  way  against  disaster 
by  building  a  line  of  forts  across  the  west  side  of  the  Ohio  territory, 
extending  from  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Miami  to  the  mouth  of  the  Miami 
of  the  Lakes,  or  the  Maumee.  Above  all  things  he  was  instructed  to 
keep  his  pickets  well  extended,  so  as  to  guard  against  surprise.  St.  Clair 
was  a  victim  of  the  gout  and  was  hardly  fit  for  the  trust.  On  Novem- 
ber 3,  1791,  he  arrived  at  the  junction  of  the  St.  Joseph  and  St.  Mary's 
Rivers  in  Indiana,  near  the  Ohio  border.  Next  day  his  army  was 
beset  on  every  side  with  Indians  led  by  Little  Turtle,  chief  of  the 
Miamis,  and  a  force  of  British  from  Detroit.  The  American  officers 
formed  their  men  in  line  of  battle  at  close  range  in  the  open  field,  and 
they  were  mowed  down  rapidly  by  their  foes,  who  were  concealed  in 
high  grass  and  behind  fallen  trees.  The  American  officers  were  picked 
off  first  and  the  soldiers  were  soon  left  without  commanders.  A  great 
panic  ensued.  The  militia,  which  had  been  in  the  rear  acting  as  a  re- 
serve, were  flanked  and  driven  in  upon  the  front.  Many  soldiers  threw 
away  their  guns  and  fled,  only  to  be  shot  down  and  scalped.  Out  of  a 
force  of  1,400  men,  593  were  killed  or  missing,  and  38  officers  and  242 
privates  were  wounded.  Nothing  but  the  bravery  of  Colonels  Butler 
and  Darke  and  Major  Clark  saved  the  entire  army  from  extermina- 
tion. Each  of  these  officers  plunged  into  the  thick  of  the  fight  and 
rallied  the  scattering  soldiers.  Butler  was  shot  through  the  arm  and 
leg,  but  fought  until  another  bullet  pierced  his  abdomen  when  he  fell 
mortally  wounded.  Simon  Girty  and  the  Indians  came  upon  him  as 
he  lay  in  agony  on  the  field,  and  he  begged  Girty  to  kill  him  and  put 
him  out  of  his  misery.  Girty  called  a  savage  to  his  side,  who  readily 
drove  his  tomahawk  into  the  dying  man's  brain.  The  Indians  gathered 
about  the  corpse  of  the  brave  man  Butler,  who  had  won  their  admiration 
by  his  conduct  in  that  awful  hour,  and  they  divided  his  heart  into 
pieces,  giving  one  piece  to  each  tribe  present.  Not  a  horse  was  left 
alive  and  the  artillery  was  abandoned.  A  poet  soldier  who  accom- 
panied the  expedition  wrote  an  epic  on  the  subject  of  this  battle,  of 
which  one  verse  is  enough : 

"  '  Twas  November  the  Fourth  in  the  year  1791 

We  had  a  sore  engagement  near  to  Fort  Jefferson ; 

St.  Clair  was  our  commander,  which  may  remembered  be. 

For  there  we  left  900  men  in  the  western  territory." 


Washington  was  much  incensed  when  he  heard  of  the  carelessness 
which  had  caused  such  an  appalHng  disaster.  Next  year  Gen.  An- 
thony Wayne,  commander-in  chief  of  the  American  army,  was  sent 
against  the  Indians.  The  best  officers  of  the  army  had  been  killed  in 
the  two  previous  engagements,  and  the  volunteers  regarded  another 
war  as  inviting  certain  disaster.  While  General  Wayne  was  at  Pitts- 
burg enlisting  men  and  drilling  them  for  the  contest,  Secretary  of  War 
Knox  suggested  that  he  invite  the  Indians  to  a  treaty  council.  He  did 
so,  but  the  Indians  were  flushed  with  victory  and  would  not  listen. 
Secretary  Knox  became  panic  stricken,  and  fearing  that  Wayne  would 
also  be  defeated,  begged  of  him  not  to  invite  a  conflict.  In  May,  1793, 
General  Wayne  led  his  half  drilled  soldiers  to  Fort  Washington  (Cin- 
cinnati), where  he  enlisted  some  Kentucky  rangers.  Peace  negotia- 
tions having  failed,  he  advanced  his  army  to  Fort  Jefferson,  seventy 
miles  up  the  Miami,  October  6,  and  a  week  later  he  was  established  at 
Greenville,  six  miles  further  on.  There  he  passed  the  winter  amid 
great  hardships,  as  his  provision  trains  were  sometimes  captured  by 
the  Indians  and  the  escorts  slaughtered.  In  order  to  educate  his  men 
to  the  serious  business  at  hand  and  train  them  in  Indian  warfare,  Gen- 
eral Wayne  sent  out  a  party  to  bury  the  dead  who  fell  on  St.  Clair's 
battlefield.  Then  he  built  a  fort  on  the  site  and  called  it  Fort  Re- 
covery. Every  moment  his  men  were  on  the  alert  against  a  surprise, 
and  the  Indians  began  to  fear  the  new  commander,  whom  they  called 
"The  Blacksnake,"  because  of  his  swiftness  and  cunning.  They 
talked  of  peace  to  the  British,  but  the  latter  scoffed  them  out  of  the 
notion,  and  braced  up  their  courage  with  rum  and  tales  of  their  former 
prowess.  Wayne  was  now  near  the  Miami  fort,  which  was  held  by  a 
British  garrison.  Washington  authorized  him,  if  it  should  become 
necessary,  to  attack  the  fort  and  dislodge  the  garrison,  although  the 
two  nations  were  ostensibly  at  peace.  On  June  30  a  small  body  of 
Indians,  led  by  British  soldiers  disguised  as  Indians,  attacked  a  party 
of  dragoons  or  mounted  riflemen.  They  were  repulsed  and  next  day  a 
messenger  came  to  General  Wayne  and  said  the  Indians  would  like  to 
make  peace.  Wayne  demanded  a  surrender  of  all  their  prisoners  as 
an  evidence  of  good  faith,  and  the  negotiations  ceased.  On  July  10 
General  Scott  arrived  with  more  Kentucky  rangers,  and  Wayne  ad- 
vanced close  to  Fort  Miami,  the  British  post,  where  he  built  a  work 
and  named  it  Fort  Defiance,  It  was  situated  at  a  point  where  the  Mau- 
mee  receives  the  waters  of  the  Au  Glaize  River. 



August  20,  1792,  found  everything  in  readiness  for  a  decisive  battle. 
The  enemy  were  believed  to  be  entrenched  in  strong  force  not  far 
away,  and  at  eight  o'clock  that  morning  General  Price's  corps  formed 
a  skirmish  line,  and  deploying  in  front  of  the  army,  advanced  down 
the  west  bank  of  the  Maumee  River.  For  five  miles  they  picked  their 
way  with  care  amid  a  perfect  silence.  Suddenly  puffs  of  smoke  came 
from  the  tall  grass  along  the  enemy's  front  and  several  of  the  skir- 
mishers fell.  The  enemy  were  drawn  out  in  battle  array  three  lines 
deep.  Their  left  rested  on  the  river  bank  and  their  right  stretched 
away  for  a  distance  of  two  miles  into  the  forest.  Some  time  before,  a 
tornado  had  swept  over  the  forest  and  the  trees  had  been  thrown  down 
in  great  confusion,  forming  the  best  possible  covert  for  Indian  war- 
fare. It  was  impossible  to  send  the  mounted  men  against  them  in  this 
position,  but  General  Wayne  mapped  out  his  plan  of  battle  while  the 
skirmishers  were  falling  back  to  the  support  of  the  main  body.  The 
Indians  tried  to  turn  his  left  flank  but  were  balked.  General  Scott 
was  sent  around  to  the  enemy's  right  with  his  mounted  rangers,  mak- 
ing a  long  detour  to  get  clear  of  the  fallen  timber  and  intending  to  fall 
upon  the  Indian  flank  or  rear.  Capt.  Robert  Campbell  was  sent  along 
the  river  bank  to  turn  the  enemy's  left.  As  soon  as  these  were  dis- 
patched Wayne  ordered  his  men  in  front  to  advance  at  double  quick 
with  trailed  arms  and  to  drive  the  enemy  from  the  grass  and  trees 
with  the  bayonet.  When  they  were  dislodged  the  soldiers  were  to  fire 
at  close  range.  So  well  and  so  swiftly  was  the  last  order  executed  that 
the  Indians  were  flying  in  a  panic  before  the  flanking  parties  were  pre- 
pared to  strike.  The  British  and  Canadians  were  driven  out  of  their 
concealment  and  joined  in  the  flight.  A  force  of  2,000  were  flying 
from  an  attacking  party  of  only  900.  Then  General  Scott  came  upon 
the  retreat,  and  his  rangers  made  havoc  with  sword  and  bayonet. 
Wayne  advanced  to  within  pistol  shot  of  Fort  Miami,  while  the  enemy 
was  scattering  panic  stricken  in  all  directions.  In  his  report  of  the 
fight  the  commander  makes  honorable  mention  of  Col.  John  Francis 
Hamtramck,  who  took  command  of  Campbell's  division  when  the  latter 
was  shot  down..  General  Wilkinson,  Captains  De  Butts  and  Lewis, 
Lieutenant  Harrison  and  Adjutant  Mills.  The  woods  for  a  distance 
of  more  than  a  mile  were  filled  with  the  dead  Indians  and  Canadians. 
British  guns  and  bayonets  were  scattered  along  the  line  of  flight. 
General  Wayne  stayed  three  days  on  the  field  and  destroyed  the  houses 
and  crops  about  the  British  post.      Among  the  property  destroyed  was 


the  house  and  stores  of  Captain  McKee,  the  British  Indian  agent.  It 
was  reported  that  reinforcements  for  the  Indians  were  expected  from 
Niagara,  and  Wayne  waited,  hoping  the  enemy  would  make  another 
stand  and  give  him  another  battle.  During  the  fight  General  Wayne 
was  suffering  from  a  severe  attack  of  gout  and  his  swollen  legs  were 
swathed  in  flannels  as  they  lifted  him  to  his  saddle.  He  soon  forgot 
his  pain  and  was  dashing  about  everywhere,  stirring  the  soldiers  on 
the  pursuit.  Several  days  afterward  Capt,  Joseph  Brant  tried  to  re- 
inforce the  British  Indians  and  lead  them  into  another  battle,  but  they 
had  a  surfeit  of  fighting.  Mad  Anthony  Wayne  had  inspired  them 
with  terror,  and  they  willingly  signed  a  treaty  at  Greenville  in  1795, 
making  very  humble  submission  to  the  American  government.  The 
blow  had  been  struck  which  settled  the  fate  of  Detroit,  as  the  British 
could  no  longer  urge  the  Indians  against  the  Americans.  In  the  fol- 
lowing winter  John  Jay,  minister  to  Great  Britain,  secured  from  the 
British  government  an  agreement  by  which  the  disputed  forts,  Detroit, 
Niagara,  Mackinaw,  Oswego,  and  Fort  Miami  on  the  Maumee,  were  to 
be  surrendered  to  the  Americans  and  all  claims  upon  the  territory 
were  to  be  given  up. 

Although  the  British  government  had  refused  to  carry  out  the  terms 
of  the  treaty,  which  surrendered  the  right  of  purchase  and  settlement 
in  the  region  west  of  Pennsylvania  and  north  of  the  Ohio,  the  Ameri- 
can Congress  went  ahead  with  legislation,  assuming  that  this  territory 
must  eventually  be  surrendered.  Previous  to  1780  Virginia,  Connecti- 
cut, New  York  and  Massachusetts  had  each  laid  claim  to  the  disputed 
lands;  but  each  of  these  States  being  unable  to  take  possession  through 
their  own  powers,  ceded  their  claims  to  the  Federal  government  before 
1787.  As  soon  as  this  was  done  Congress  began  to  prepare  for  posses- 
sion, and  in  1787  a  code  of  special  laws  was  passed  to  govern  the  vast 
region,  which  was  called  the  Northwest  Territory.  These  laws  were 
prepared  by  Nathan  Dane,  an  eminent  legal  authority  of  Massachusetts 
and  founder  of  the  Dane  Law  School  at  Harvard,  and  Rev.  Manasseh 
Cutler.  Dr.  Cutler  was  negotiating  at  that  time  for  the  purchase  of  a 
tract  of  1,500,000  acres  of  land  in  the  Ohio  region,  and  he  was  anxious 
that  law  and  order  should  be  enforced,  and  that  slavery  should  be  ex- 
cluded from  the  western  country.  On  October  16,  1787,  as  soon  as  legis- 
lation was  provided  for  the  Northwest  Territory,  President  Washington 
appointed  Gen.  Arthur  St.  Clair  as  governor,  Winthrop  Sargent  as 
secretary,  and   Samuel    Holden   Parsons,  James  Mitchell  Varnum,  and 


John  Armstrong  as  judges.  Armstrong  resigned  February  19,  1788, 
and  the  vacancy  was  filled  by  John  C.  Symmes,  The  governor  and 
judges  were  authorized  to  prepare  such  laws  as  became  necessary  for 
the  government  of  the  Northwest  Territory,  but  in  strict  conformity  with 
the  National  Constitution.  At  first  the  new  territory  comprised  the 
present  States  of  Michigan,  Ohio,  Indiana,  Illinois,  Wisconsin  and  part 
of  Minnesota. 


The  British  Evacuate  Detroit,  July  11,  1796— The  Victory  of  General  Wayne  is 
Followed  by  the  Jay  Treaty — Death  of  General  Wayne — The  Northwest  Territory 
Created  before  Possession  was  Secured  by  the  Americans — Winthrop  Sargent  Gives 
the  Name  of  Wayne  County  to  a  Great  Territory. 

It  was  Monda}^  July  11,  1796,  and  the  scene  was  the  British  military 
post  of  Detroit.  The  sun  rose  brightly  over  the  little  town.  Fort  Ler- 
noult,  and  the  broad  expanse  of  the  beautiful  river.  At  the  first  notes 
of  the  bugle  that  sounded  forth  the  reveille  the  banner  of  St.  George — 
the  meteor  flag  of  England — was  given  to  the  breeze,  the  main  gate  or 
entrance  to  the  fort  was  opened,  and  red-coated  sentinels  were  seen  on 
guard.  The  few  privates  left  in  the  fort  fell  into  ranks  and  answered 
to  their  names,  and  then  dispersed  to  get  their  breakfasts  and  help  pack 
up.  There  was  to  be  no  guard-mounting  that  day.  All  around  could 
be  seen  wagons  loaded  with  household  goods  and  military  supplies,  for 
the  "  flitting  "  had  commenced  several  days  before,  and  the  work  of 
building  Fort  Maiden,  at  Amherstburg,  had  been  going  on  for  several 
weeks.  On  the  ramparts  several  officers  conversed  in  groups,  apparently 
on  a  subject  of  engrossing  interest,  and  the  massive  form  of  Col.  Rich- 
ard England  appeared  on  the  scene.  Telescopes  were  brought  out  and 
the  river  below  was  scanned  with  interest.  Everybody  in  Detroit  knew 
that,  by  the  terms  of  the  Jay  treaty,  the  fort  and  its  dependencies  were 
surrendered  by  England  to  the  United  States,  and  that  possession  was 
to  be  given  on  July  1.  But  from  several  causes  the  United  States  troops 
had  not  come  to  claim  their  own.  In  the  intervening  days  some  evil- 
disposed  soldiers  or  others  had  destroyed  several  of  the  windmills  that 
lay  on  the  river  bank,  and  did  some  other  mischievous  acts,  but  these 


were  not  probably  sanctioned  by  the  commandant,  who  was  a  gentle- 
man and  an  old  and  experienced  soldier. 

It  was  about  ten  o'clock  when   the  telescope  discovered  two  vessels 
coming  around  the  bend  of  the  river  below  the  town.     The  flags  were 
not  at  first  distinguishable,  but  in  a  short  time  they  became  plainer  to 
the  lookers  and   the  word  went  round:   "  The  Yankees  are  coming! " 
Nearer  and  nearer  came  the  two  vessels,  which   were  small  schooners, 
each  flying  the  Stars  and  Stripes.     At  this  time  a  number  of  officers 
and  men  went  down  to  the  king's  wharf,  which  then   projected  about 
150  feet  into  the  river  at  the  foot  of  Shelby  street.     At  the  wharf  were 
several  loaded  vessels,  all  ready  to  clear.     The  American  vessels  tacked 
in    and  were  fastened   to  the   wharf,  around  which   were  gathered  a 
motley  group  of   Indians,    soldiers  and  white   settlers.      There   is   no 
record  of  how  the  small  American  advance  force  was  received      It  was 
strictly  on  a  peace  footing,  for  it  numbered  only  sixty-five  men.     The 
two  vessels  also  contained  several  cannon,  ammunition  and  provisions, 
the  whole  being  nnder  the  command  of  Capt.  Moses  Porter.      Being 
officers  and  gentlemen,  it  is  more  than  probable  that  Colonel  England  and 
his  subordinates  received  them  at  the  wharf  with  courtesy  and  good 
feeling.     That  the  latter  feeling  predominated  is  certainly  true,  for  the 
records  show  that  the  British  commissary  at  Chatham  loaned  fifty  pounds 
of   pork   to  the   United  States   commissary  for  the  use  of  the  troops. 
Meanwhile  the   only  one  to  show  emotion   was  the  renegade,  Simon 
Girty,  the  miscreant  who  had  laughed  when  Crawford,  the  American 
officer,  was  being  burned  at  the  stake  by  the  Indians  near  Sandusky. 
He  seemed  anxious  to  leave  what  was  now  American  territory,  and  too 
impatient  to  wait  for  the  ferry  boat,  he  spurred  his  horse  into  the  river 
and  swam  it  over  to   Canada.      On  the  bank  on  the  opposite  side  he 
stopped  and  furiously  cursed  the  American  government  and  its  soldiers. 
Like  Marmion,  when  he  had  got  outside  of  the  Douglas  castle, 

"  His  shout  of  loud  defiance  pours, 
And  shook  his  gauntlet  at  the  towers." 

Then  came  the  ceremony  of  taking  possession.  The  sixty-five 
United  States  troops  formed  and  marched  up  the  hill  to  the  fort. 
They  were  probably  received  by  the  few  British  troops  that  were  left, 
with  military  honors.  The  British  flag  came  down  at  noon,  and  then 
the  starry  banner  of  the  free  was  hoisted  and  Detroit  and  the  North- 
west became   United   States  territory.     A    letter  written   by   Colonel 


England  a  few  days  later,  on  Bois  Blanc  Island,  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Detroit  River,  shows  that  he  was  in  Detroit  at  the  time  of  the  evacua- 
tion. There  was  certainly  no  reason  why  he  should  not  be  present  at 
that  time.  The  two  nations  were  at  peace  and  the  evacuation  was  the 
result  of  ah  amicable  treaty,  and  it  would  have  been  boorish  and  dis- 
courteous for  him  to  be  absent.  On  the  13th  came  Col.  John  Francis 
Hamtramck,  who  was  in  command  of  this  post  until  the  arrival  of  his 
superior  officer,  "Mad  Anthony"  Wayne,  who  came  in  September. 
It  was  fitting  that  General  Wayne  should  be  authorized  to  make  official 
visits  to  all  the  posts,  and  after  he  had  received  the  thanks  of  Congress 
he  began  his  tour  in  the  month  of  June,  1796,  in  the  capacity  of  civil 
commissioner  as  well  as  commander-in-chief.  The  Indians  loved  a 
brave  man  and  they  received  him  at  Detroit  with  great  enthusiasm 
when  he  arrived  in  September.  The  brave  warrior's  work  was  done. 
He  remained  at  Detroit  two  months  and  then  set  sail  for  Erie,  Novem- 
ber 17,  but  while  on  the  way  was  attacked  by  the  gout  again.  He  was 
carried  ashore  and  died  at  Erie,  December  15,  1796.  At  his  request 
he  was  buried  at  the  foot  of  the  flagstaff  on  the  parade  ground.  Years 
afterwards  his  remains  were  removed  to  St.  David's  church,  in  Radnor, 
Pa. ,  and  when  the  parade  ground  was  graded  at  Erie  about  forty  years 
ago,  the  last  trace  of  his  burial  place  was  destroyed.  General  Wayne 
was  born  in  1745  and  was  but  forty-six  years  old  at  the  time  of  his 
death,  but  he  had  seen  almost  twenty  years  of  fighting. 

Little  Turtle,  who  was  in  command  of  the  Miamis  in  the  battles 
against  Harmar,  St.  Clair,  and  Wayne,  and  was  here  at  the  time  of  the 
evacuation,  must  have  been  a  picturesque  savage  as  well  as  a  military 
genius.  His  name  was  given  not  on  account  of  his  stature,  for  he  was 
said  to  be  upward  of  six  feet  in  height  and  powerfully  built.  He  wore 
a  kilt  or  short  skirt  of  bright  blue  flannel  reaching  nearly  to  the  knee 
and  a  coat  and  vest  of  European  pattern.  His  Indian  cap  was  a  baggy 
sort  of  turban  which  hung  far  down  his  back,  and  it  was  ornamented 
with  two  hundred  brooches  of  silver.  He  wore  two  rings  in  each  ear 
and  from  them  depended  strings  of  coins  and  medals  twelve  inches  in 
length,  one  string  hanging  in  front  of  each  shoulder  and  the  others 
behind.  He  also  wore  a  nose  jewel  of  large  proportions.  After  the 
battle  with  Wayne  he  became  an  enthusiastic  admirer  of  his  conqueror. 
He  died  at  Fort  Wayne  in  1812,  aged  sixty-five  years. 

In  1782  a  number  of  British  sympathizers  residing  in  the  revolted 
colonies  removed  to  Canada,  the  emigrants  forseeing  that  the  war  was 


going  against  their  country,  and  that  the  lake  region  would  probably 
be  the  ground  of  a  dispute,  at  the  end  of  the  Revolution.  These  emi- 
grants, as  a  class,  were  of  superior  birth,  means  and  education,  and 
they  settled  along  the  Canadian  banks  of  the  Thames,  Detroit,  St. 
Clair  and  St.  Lawrence  Rivers,  where  they  were  styled  United  Empire 
Loyalists.  This  movement,  however,  was  not  general  in  Detroit,  for 
many  continued  to  believe  that  Great  Britain  would  hold  fast  to  the 
norlhern  territory.  But  this  illusion  was  dispelled  when  Col.  Ham. 
tramck  took  possession  of  Detroit,  in  the  name  of  the  United  States,  in 
1796.  The  population  of  Detroit  numbered  2,190  in  1782,  which  in- 
cluded 178  slaves,  but  it  soon  fell  off  to  about  500.  This  was  afterward 
increased  by  the  arrival  of  soine  French  immigrants,  but  immigration 
from  New  York  and  New  England  did  not  begin  until  1805,  when  the 
population  reached  2,200. 

In  1792  Lieutenant-Governor  Simcoe  of  Upper  Canada  organized  all 
the  present  State  of  Michigan  and  a  strip  of  land  running  north  as  far 
as  Hudson  Bay  into  the  county  of  Kent.  In  August,  1796,  less  than  a 
month  after  the  surrender  of  Detroit  to  the  Americans,  Secretary  Win- 
throp  Sargent,  who  accompanied  Gen.  Anthony  Wayne  on  his  trip  to 
Detroit,  after  consulting  with  several  prominent  residents,  made  a 
public  proclamation  organizing  the  upper  and  lower  peninsulas  of 
Michigan,  and  a  strip  of  Wisconsin  and  Illinois,  completely  inclosing 
Lake  Michigan,  into  the  county  of  Wayne.  General  Wayne  was  very 
grateful  for  this  compliment  and  he  expressed  his  best  wishes  for  the 
future  of  the  new  count3\  General  St.  Clair,  governor  of  the  North- 
west Territory,  was  absent  at  Pittsburg  when  the  proclamation  was 
made,  but  when  he  heard  of  it  he  was  very  much  provoked  at  his  sec- 
retary for  his  presumption.  The  people  of  Detroit  supported  Sargent, 
however,  and  the  name  stood. 

The  British  governors  who  ruled  over  Canada  and  Detroit  between 
1760  and  1796  were  eleven  in  number: 

Sir  Jeffrey  Amherst  ruled  from  1760  to  1765  as  comn^ander-in-chief. 

Sir  James  Murray  from  1765  to  1766. 

Paulus  Emilius  Irving  in  1766. 

Brigadier- General  Guy  Carleton  from  1766  to  1770. 

Hector  Theophilus  Cramahe,  1770  to  1774. 

Sir  Guy  Carleton  (second  term),  1774  to  1778. 

Sir  Frederick  Haldimand,  1778  to  1784. 

Henry  Hamilton,  lieutenant-governor  in  1784. 


Henry  Hope,  lieutenant  governor  in  1785. 

Lord  Dorchester,  formerly  Sir  Guy  Carleton  (third  term),  178G. 

John  Graves  Simcoe,  lieutenant-governor,  1792-96. 


Isaac  Weld's  Description  of  Detroit  in  1796— Two  thirds  of  the  Residents  are  French 
— Twelve  Trading  Vessels  Carry  its  Commerce — Jacob  Burnett,  Solomon  Sibley  and 
other  Notables  Arrive. 

Isaac  Weld  made  a  tour  of  the  States  and  Canada  in  1795-96  and  in 
1799  published  a  book.  He  visited  Detroit  in  October,  1796,  three 
months  after  the  evacuation  of  the  town  by  the  British,  and  his  descrip- 
tion is  very  interesting: 

"  Detroit  contains  about  300  houses,"  he  wrote,  "  and  is  the  largest  town  in  the 
western  country.  It  stands  contiguous  to  the  river,  on  the  top  of  the  banks,  which 
are  here  about  twenty  feet  high.  At  the  bottom  of  them  there  are  very  extensive 
wharfs  for  the  accommodation  of  the  shipping,  built  of  wood,  similar  to  those  in  the 
Atlantic  seaports.  The  town  consists  of  several  streets  that  run  parallel  to  the  river, 
which  are  intersected  by  others  at  right  angles.  They  are  all  very  narrow,  and  not 
being  paved,  dirty  in  the  extreme  whenever  it  happens  to  rain ;  for  the  accommoda- 
tion of  passengers,  however,  there  are  footways  in  most  of  them,  formed  of  square 
logs,  laid  transversely  close  to  each  other.  The  town  is  surrounded  by  a  strong  stock- 
ade, through  which  there  are  four  gates,  two  of  them  open  to  the  wharfs,  and  the 
two  others  to  the  north  and  south  side  of  the  town  respectively.  The  gates  are  de- 
fended by  strong  block-houses,  and  on  the  west  side  of  the  town  is  a  small  fort  in  the 
form  of  a  square,  with  bastions  at  the  angles.  At  each  of  the  corners  of  this  fort  is 
planted  a  small  field  piece,  and  these  constitute  the  whole  of  the  ordnance  at  present 
in  the  place.  The  British  kept  a  considerable  train  of  artillery  here,  but  the  place 
was  never  capable  of  holding  out  for  any  length  of  time  against  a  regular  force;  the 
fortifications,  indeed,  were  constructed  chiefly  as  a  defense  against  the  Indians. 

"  Detroit  is  at  present  the  headquarters  of  the  western  army  of  the  States;  the 
garrison  consists  of  300  men,  who  are  quartered  in  barracks.  Very  little  attention 
is  paid  by  the  officers  to  the  minutiae  of  discipline,  so  that  however  well  the  men  may 
have  acquitted  themselves  in  the  field,  they  make  but  a  poor  appearance  on  parade. 
The  belles  of  the  town  are  quite  au  desespoir  at  the  late  departure  of  the  British 
troops,  though  the  American  officers  tell  them  they  have  no  reason  to  be  so,  as  they 
will  find  them  much  more  sensible  and  agreeable  men  than  the  British  officers  when 
they  know  them,  a  style  of  conversation,  which  strange  as  it  may  appear  to  us,  is  yet 
not  at  all  uncommon  amongst  them.  Three  months,  however,  have  not  altered  the 
first  opinion  of  the  ladies.     I  cannot  better  give  you  an  idea  of  the  unpolished,  coarse, 


discordant  manners  of  the  generality  of  the  officers  of  the  western  army  of  the  States 
than  by  telling  you  that  they  cannot  agree  sufficiently  amongst  themselves  to  form  a 
regimental  mess.  Repeated  attempts  have  been  made  since  their  arrival  at  Detroit 
to  establish  one,  but  their  frequent  quarrels  would  never  suffer  it  to  remain  perma- 
nent. A  duelist  and  an  officer  of  the  western  army  were  nearly  synonymous  terms 
at  one  time,  in  the  United  States,  owing  to  the  very  great  number  of  duels  that  took 
place  amongst  them  when  cantoned  at  Greenville. 

"  About  two-thirds  of  the  inhabitants  of  Detroit  are  of  French  extraction,  and  the 
greater  part  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  settlements  on  the  river,  both  above  and  be- 
low the  town,  are  of  the  same  description.  The  former  are  mostly  engaged  in  trade 
and  they  all  appear  to  be  much  on  an  equality.  Detroit  is  a  place  of  very  consider- 
able trade;  there  are  no  less  than  twelve  trading  vessels,  belonging  t6  it,  brigs, 
sloops  and  schooners,  of  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  tons  burden  each.  The  inland 
navigation  in  this  quarter  is  indeed  very  extensive.  Lake  Erie,  three  hundred  miles 
in  length,  being  open  to  vessels  belonging  to  the  port,  on  the  one  side,  and  Lakes 
Michigan  and  Huron,  the  first  upwards  of  two  hundred  miles  in  length  and  fifty  in 
breadth,  and  the  second  no  less  than  one  thousand  miles  in  circumference  on  the 
opposite  side ;  not  to  speak  of  Lake  St.  Clair  and  Detroit  River,  which  connect  these 
former  lakes  together,  or  of  the  many  large  rivers  which  fall  into  them.  The  stores 
and  shops  of  the  town  are  well  furnished  and  you  may  buy  fine  cloth,  linen,  etc.,  and 
every  article  of  wearing  apparel,  as  good  in  their  kind,  and  nearly  on  as  reasonable 
terms,  as  you  can  purchase  them  at  New  York  or  Philadelphia. 

"The  inhabitants  are  well  supplied  with  provisions  of  every  description  ;  the  fish  in 
particular,  caught  in  the  river  and  neighboring  lakes,  are  of  a  verj-  superior  quality. 
The  fish  held  m  most  estimation  is  a  sort  of  large  trout,  called  the  Michilimackinac 
whitefish,  from  its  being  caught  mostly  m  the  straits  of  that  name.  The  inhabitants 
of  Detroit  and  the  neighboring  country,  however,  though  they  have  provisions  in 
plenty,  are  frequently  much  distressed  for  one  very  necessary  concomitant,  namely, 
salt.  Until  within  a  short  time  past  they  had  no  salt  but  what  was  brought  from 
Europe,  but  salt  spings  have  been  discovered  in  various  parts  of  the  country,  from 
which  they  are  now  beginning  to  manufacture  that  article  for  themselves.  The  best 
and  most  profitable  springs  are  retained  in  the  hands  of  the  government,  and  the 
profits  arising  from  the  sale  of  the  salt  are  to  be  paid  into  the  treasury  of  the  prov- 
ince. Throughout  the  western  country  they  procure  their  salt  from  springs,  some 
of  which  throw  up  sufficient  water  to  yield  several  hundred  bushels  in  the  course  of 
one  week. 

"There  is  a  large  Roman  Catholic  church  in  the  town  of  Detroit,  and  another  on 
the  opposite  side  called  the  Huron  church,  from  its  having  been  devoted  to  the  use 
of  the  Huron  Indians.  The  streets  of  Detroit  are  generally  crowded  with  Indians 
of  one  tribe  or  another,  and  amongst  them  you  see  numberless  old  squaws  leading 
about  the  daughters,  ever  ready  to  dispose  of  them,  pro  tempore,  to  the  highest  bid- 
der. At  night  all  the  Indians,  except  such  as  get  admittance  into  private  houses, 
and  remain  there  quietly,  are  turned  out  of  town,  and  the  gates  shut  upon  them. 
The  American  officers  here  have  endeavored  to  their  utmost  to  impress  upon  the 
minds  of  the  Indians  an  idea  of  their  own  superiority  over  the  British;  but  as  they 
are  very  tardy  in  giving  these  people  any  presents,  they  do  not  pay  much  attention 
to  their  words.     General  Wayne,  from  continually  promising  them  presents,  but  at 

•25  G 


the  same  time  always  postponing  the  delivery  when  they  come  to  ask  for  them,  has 
significantly  been  nicknamed  by  them  General  Wabang — that  is,  General  To-morrow. 
The  country  round  Detroit  is  uncommonly  flat,  and  in  none  of  the  rivers  is  there  a 
fall  sufficient  to  turn  even  a  grist  mill.  The  current  of  the  Detroit  River  itself  is 
stronger  than  that  of  any  of  them,  and  a  floating  mill  was  once  invented  by  a 
Frenchman,  which  was  chained  in  the  middle  of  the  river,  where  it  was  thought  the 
stream  would  be  sufficiently  swift  to  turn  the  waterwheel.  The  building  of  il  was 
attended  by  considerable  expense  to  the  inhabitaats,  but  after  it  was  finished  it  by 
no  means  answered  their  expectations.  They  grind  their  corn  at  present  by  wind- 
mills, which  I  do  not  remember  to  have  seen  in  any  other  part  of  North  America." 

Jacob  Burnett,  a  lawyer  and  pioneer  of  Cincinnati,  who  was  for  some 
time  a  partner  of  Solomon  Sibley  in  that  city,  also  came  here  in  1796 
in  company  with  Arthur  St.  Clair,  the  first  and  only  governor  of  the 
Northwest  Territory.  He  witnessed  the  taking  possession  of  the  posts, 
Detroit,  Mackinac  and  Fort  Miami,  and  in  his  "Notes  on  the  North- 
western Territory,"  published  in  1847,  gave  a  graphic  description  of 
the  physical  and  social  features  of  the  region.  Concerning  Detroit  he 
said  "that  it  had  been  for  many  years  the  principal  depot  of  the  fur 
trade  of  the  Northwest,  and  the  residence  of  a  large  number  of  English 
and  Scotch  merchants,  who  were  engaged  in  it;  and  it  was  of  course  a 
place  of  great  business.  The  greater  part  of  the  merchants  engaged 
in  the  fur  trade,  both  Scotch  and  English,  had  their  domiciles  in  De- 
troit, and  the  nature  of  the  trade  was  such  as  to  require  large  amounts 
of  capital  to  be  profitable;  because  of  the  great  distance  and  the  im- 
mense amount  of  country  over  which  their  furs  and  peltry  were  col- 
lected, rendered  it  impossible  to  turn  the  capital  employed  more  than 
once  a  year  and  sometimes  once  in  two  years.  The  business  was  ex- 
tremely laborious  and  precarious.  In  some  seasons  their  profits  were 
enormously  large;  in  others  they  were  small,  and  occasionally  they 
were  subjected  to  heavy  losses.  During  a  large  portion  of  the  year 
they  had  to  endure  the  fatigue  and  privation  of  the  wilderness,  and  as 
often  as  they  returned  from  those  laborious  excursions  to  their  families 
and  comfortable  homes,  they  indulged  most  freely  in  the  delicacies  and 
luxuries  of  high  living.  Scarcely  a  day  passed  without  a  dinner  given 
by  some  of  them,  at  which  the  best  of  wine  and  other  liquors,  and  the 
richest  viands  furnished  by  the  country  and  by  commerce,  were  served 
up  in  great  profusion  and  in  fine  taste.  Genteel  strangers  who  visited 
the  place  were  generally  invited  to  their  houses  and  their  sumptuous 
tables;  and  although  at  this  day,  such  would  be  considered  a  breach  of 
moral  duty,  as  well  as  of  good  breeding,  they  competed  with  each  other 


for  the  honor  of  drinking  the  most,  as  well  as  the  best  wine,  without 
being  intoxicated  themselves,  and  of  having  at  their  parties  the  greatest 
number  of  intoxicated  guests.  This  revel  was  kept  up  in  a  greater  or 
less  degree  during  the  season  they  remained  at  home,  as  an  offset  to 
to  the  privations  and  sufferings  of  their  excursions  into  the  wilderness. 
At  one  of  these  sumptuous  dinners  given  by  Angus  Mcintosh,  the  bot- 
tom of  every  wine  glass  on  the  table  had  been  broken  off  to  prevent 
what  were  called  heel-taps;  and  during  the  evening  many  toasts  were 
given,  which  the  company  were  required  to  drink  in  bumpers.  The 
writer  of  this  narrative  was  one  of  the  guests  on  that  occasion,  but, 
being  in  very  delicate  and  precarious  health,  was  not  required  to  com- 
ply with  the  rules  prescribed  for  others." 

On  the  third  Monday  of  December,  1798,  Solomon  Sibley,  Jacobus 
Visgerand  Silas  Wishwell,  a  "  Yankee  lawyer,"  were  elected  at  Detroit 
as  delegates  from  Wayne  county  to  the  first  session  of  the  General  As- 
sembly of  the  Northwest  Territory,  which  was  held  in  Cincinnati  on 
February  4,  1799.  When  the  result  was  declared  Visger  said  that  if 
Wishwell  was  to  be  a  delegate  he  (Visger)  would  refuse  to  serve.  Vis- 
ger must  have  been  quite  influential  among  the  French  electors,  for 
another  election  was  held  at  which  Chabert  de  Joncaire  was  elected  in 
place  of  Wishwell.  The  courts  of  the  Northwest  Territory  were  held 
in  Cincinnati  in  March,  at  Marietta  in  October,  and  at  Detroit  by  spe- 
cial appointment  whenever  circumstances  required.  Solomon  Sibley, 
Jacob  Burnett  and  the  other  attorneys  of  those  early  days,  had  a  wide, 
if  not  a  large  and  profitable,  practice.  They  went  from  one  jurisdiction 
to  another  on  horseback,  carrying  their  legal  papers  and  firearms. 
There  were  few  bridges  and  few  bridlepaths  in  the  wilderness,  but  they 
struck  out  boldly  with  a  pocket  compass  for  a  guide ;  crossed  vast  swamps, 
swam  their  horses  across  the  rivers,  and  when  they  were  unable  to  find 
a  lone  settler's  cabin  at  nightfall,  they  made  a  bed  of  hemlock  boughs 
beneath  the  protecting  arms  of  some  grand  old  forest  tree.  The  howl 
of  the  wolf,  the  scream  of  the  wildcat  and  panther,  the  weird  call  of  the 
whip  poor  will,  and  the  hooting  of  the  great  horned  owls  were  their 
lullaby.  A  fire  of  dead  wood  cooked  the  traveler's  supper,  which  con- 
sisted of  a  broiled  partridge  or  some  other  small  game,  and  this,  with 
some  home  cakes  which  had  been  stored  away  in  the  saddlebags  at  the 
last  stopping  place,  gave  him  excellent  cheer.  The  horse,  which  in 
that  day  lived  in  close  companionship  with  his  master,  was  tethered 
close  at  hand  where  the  grass  was  abundant.     When  the  great  fire  had 


sunk  to  a  heap  of  glowing  embers,  master  and  steed  slept  peacefully 
under  the  light  of  the  stars,  but  with  ears  quickened  by  necessity,  and 
each  would  bound  to  his  feet  at  the  approach  of  danger. 

In  1800  the  General  Court  of  the  territories  was  in  session  at  Detroit 
on  June  4,  which  was  the  birthday  of  King  George  III.  The  officers 
of  the  garrison,  the  bench  and  bar,  and  many  of  the  principal  citizens 
of  Detroit,  went  to  Amherstburg  by  invitation,  and  partook  of  the  fes- 
tivities of  the  occasion.  Many  of  the  officers  of  the  two  regiments  at 
Detroit  accepted  the  invitation,  but  Colonel  Strong,  who  was  in  com- 
mand, did  not  attend.  The  judges,  lawyers  and  principal  citizens, 
about  one  hundred  in  all,  attended  and  had  a  good  time.  The  enter- 
tainment was  splendid,  the  tables  being  richly  and  abundantly  supplied 
with  the  best  The  judges  and  lawyers  present  were  invited  to  come 
again,  and  when  the  court  was  over  they  went  down  to  Amherstburg 
again  on  the  John  Adams,  a  United  States  brig- of- war,  and  had  a  fine 
supper,  good  wine  and  general  jollity,  and  stayed  there  over  night. 
Next  day  they  proceeded  on  the  brig  to  Maumee  Bay,  and  were  landed 
at  the  foot  of  the  rapids,  thereby  avoiding  the  misery  of  traveling 
through  the  muddy  bridle  paths  of  the  Black  vSwamp,  between  Detroit 
and  Toledo,  which  was  not  made  passable  until  the  '30's. 

In  1800  the  Northwest  Territory  was  divided.  Most  of  the  present 
State  of  Ohio  and  the  eastern  half  of  the  lower  peninsula  of  Michigan 
were  set  off  and  given  the  name  of  Ohio.  This  necessitated  a  change 
in  the  boundaries  of  Wayne  county,  for  it  could  not  be  extended  over 
two  territories,  so  the  eastern  portion  of  the  lower  peninsula,  which 
had  been  set  off  as  a  part  of  the  Territory  of  Ohio,  was  added  to  nearly 
one-quarter  of  the  State  of  Ohio,  the  eastern  limit  being  the  Cuyahoga 
River,  and  the  southern  boundary  being  placed  about  one  hundred 
miles  south  of  Lake  Erie.  While  this  suited  the  people  of  Detroit  and 
Wayne  county,  it  did  not  please  the  people  of  Ohio,  so  in  the  fall  of 
1800  a  section  of  the  lower  strip  was  chopped  off  from  Wayne  county 
and  added  to  Ohio  proper,  so  that  the  eastern  boundary  was  near  San- 
dusky. Next  year  nearly  all  the  territory  which  is  now  included  in  the 
State  of  Ohio  was  cut  off  from  Wayne  county,  and  only  a  narrow  strip, 
including  the  present  site  of  Toledo,  was  left.  The  residents  of  the 
Ohio  region  organized  a  general  assembly  and  began  to  move  for  a 
constitutional  convention,  for  the  purpose  of  organizing  their  section 
into  a  State  and  leaving  Wayne  county  out.  The  Wayne  county 
people  and  some  of  the  others  objected.      In  the  fall  of  1802  a  conven- 


tion  was  held  at  Chillicothe  by  the  people  of  Ohio,  and  a  constitution 
was  adopted.  In  order  to  make  up  the  requisite  number  of  residents 
for  statehood,  the  people  of  Wayne  county  were  counted  in,  and  in 
March,  1803,  the  State  of  Ohio  was  admitted  to  the  Union. 

Wayne  county  was  then  cut  off  from  Ohio  and  attached  to  the  pres- 
ent boundaries  of  Indiana,  and  the  two  were  organized  into  the  Terri- 
tory of  Indiana.  Gen.  William  Henry  Harrison  was  appointed  gover- 
nor and  Col.  John  Gibson  secretary,  and  Vincennes  was  made  the 
capital  of  the  new  territory. 


Early  Ordinances  of  the  New  American  Town — First  Charter  Issued  in  1802 — Ex- 
traordinarjr  Precautions  against  Fire— The  First  Fire  Department  and  its  Divisions 
of  Work — A  Public  Market  Established  on  the  River  Front — A  One  Man  Police  Force. 

In  1800  Detroit  was  a  town  of  about  300  houses.  The  entire  own 
was  inclosed  in  a  low  stockade,  which  had  two  gates  opening  upon  the 
river  front  and  one  at  the  east  and  one  at  the  west  ends.  A  blockhouse 
defended  each  gate  and  the  fort  on  the  hill,  north  of  the  stockade,  was 
defended  by  four  six  pound  cannon  mounted  in  the  corner  bastions. 
One  of  the  striking  features  of  the  landscape  was  the  number  of  wind- 
mills with  their  lazily  revolving  sails.  These  were  all  much  alike  in 
appearance.  The  foundation  was  pyramida  and  built  of  stone,  while 
the  upper  part  was  a  wooden  tower  with  a  conical  roof.  They  were  of 
small  capacity,  and  so  a  number  of  them  were  scattered  along  the 
water  front  on  both  sides  of  the  river,  from  Windmill  Point  on  Lake 
St.  Clair  to  a  point  near  Twenty-fourth  street.  The  houses  of 
the  town  were  solid  structures  of  squared  logs;  the  better  class  being  a 
story  and  a  half  in  height.  The  gables  were  high,  and  dormer  win- 
dows projecting  from  the  room  lighted  the  upper  stories.  The  doors 
were  made  in  upper  and  lower  halves,  after  the  fashion  of  colonial  days, 
so  that  the  upper  portion  might  be  opened  for  air  and  light,  while  the 
lower  half  prevente  1  the  children  from  wandering  out  in  the  mud  and 
also  prevented  wandering  pigs  from  entering  unbidden.  A  huge  chim- 
ney stood  in  the  center  of  every  house,  with  flues  opening  to  the  kitchen 
and  also   to  the  living  rooms,  where  broad  fireplaces  gave  out  their 


ruddy  glow  in  the  cold  months  of  the  j^ear.  Even  in  so  small  a  town 
there  were  plenty  of  idlers,  and  bowling  was  a  popular  amusement  in 
the  narrow  streets.  For  lack  of  lighter  balls  the  bowlers  used  six  and 
twelve-pound  cannon  balls,  and  pedestrians  had  to  look  lively  when 
they  came  to  intersections  of  the  streets  to  save  their  limbs  from  breaks 
and  bruises.  An  ordinance  finally  put  a  stop  to  the  practice.  French 
pacing  ponies  were  still  the  cnly  horses  in  the  settlement  and  they 
were  driven  singly  to  rather  primitive  carts.  Whenever  two  drivers  of 
these  animals  came  together  on  the  streets  there  was  a  race  to  decide 
which  had  the  better  pony,  and  when  two  such  rigs  driven  by  greatly 
excited  Frenchmen  came  tearing  down  the  streets  side  by  side,  pedes- 
trians had  to  fly  to  the  doorways  and  cross  streets  for  their  lives.  This 
did  not  disturb  the  drivers,  who  were  completely  absorbed  in  their  con- 
tests, and  filled  the  air  with  loud  shouts  of  encouragement  to  their 
struggling  beasts.  Tradition  says  that  the  French  Canadian  ponies 
had  their  origin  from  the  war  steed  of  General  Braddock,  a  beautiful, 
thoroughbred,  snow  white  mare,  which  was  brought  to  Detroit  after 
her  owner  had  been  killed  in  1755  in  his  unsuccessful  attempt  against 
the  French  in  western  Pennsylvania.  The  male  progenitor  of  this 
hardy  equine  race  is  said  to  have  been  an  Indian  pony,  which  descended 
from  the  horses  brought  into  Mexico  by  Cortez.  Wells  were  few  and 
far  between  and  the  water  was  not  as  good  as  that  of  the  river,  so  most, 
of  the  people  carried  their  water  from  the  river,  two  buckets  at  a  time, 
suspended  from  a  yoke  across  the  shoulders.  The  river  and  lake  front 
was  occupied  by  French  farm  houses  for  a  distance  of  nearly  twenty 
miles  in  each  direction.  These  houses  stood  a  little  back  from  the 
river  road,  and  were  surrounded  by  pickets  and  shaded  by  large  pear 
trees.  In  front  of  each  a  tiny  wharf  projected  into  the  river  from  which 
they  dipped  their  water,  and  moored  to  the  wharf  was  the  canoe  be- 
longing to  the  house.  A  majority  of  the  French  residents  sympathized 
with  the  American  cause,  but  some  leading  men  adhered  to  the  British. 
The  latter  were  mostly  engaged  in  the  fur  trade  and  general  business, 
which  they  continued  after  the  evacuation.  They  were  generally  men 
of  standing  and  influence,  and  took  a  more  r  less  active  part  in  the 
affairs  of  the  town  where  thei  ■  interests  were  located.  During  the 
four  years  that  elapsed  before  1800,  there  grew  up  a  feeling  of  political 
aversion  against  this  element,  and  this  finally  culminated  n  a  popular 
demand  that  they  should  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  United  States 
or  leave  the  country.    A  number  of  them  did  take  the  oath,  but  others  did 


not.  Some  thirty  French  residents  signed  a  paper  declaring  themselves 
as  British  subjects  and  stating  that  they  intended  to  leave  the  country. 
In  January,  1802,  on  petition  of  the  inhabitants  of  Detroit,  Solo 
mon  Sibley  introduced  a  bill  for  the  incorporation  of  the  town  of 
Detroit  at  the  session  of  the  Assembly  of  the  Northwest  Territory 
held  at  Chillicothe  in  that  month.  The  bill  was  passed  on  Jan- 
uary 18,  and  this,  the  first  charter  of  Detroit,  was  signed  by  Ed 
ward  Tiffin,  speaker  of  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  ter- 
ritory, and  Robert  Oliver,  president  of  the  territorial  court,  and 
approved  by  Governor  St.  Clair  February  18,  1802.  In  this  act  the 
following  five  trustees  were  appointed:  John  Askin,  John  Dode- 
mead,  James  Henry,  Charles  Francis  Girardin  and  Joseph  Cam- 
pau,  who  were  to  hold  office  until  their  successors  were  chosen  at 
elections  to  be  held  on  the  first  Monday  of  May  following.  The  act 
defined  the  boundaries  of  the  town  as  follows:  The  river  front  on  the 
south;  the  east  line  was  the  line  between  the  property  of  John  Askin 
(the  Brush  farm)  and  the  farm  of  Antoine  Beaubien;  the  west  line  was 
the  line  between  the  William  Macomb  (Cass)  farm  and  that  of  Pierre 
Chesne  (the  Jones).  This  rectangle  extended  back  from  the  river  a 
distance  of  two  miles.  Freeholders  and  householders  paying  $40  a 
year  rent,  and  others  having  the  freedom  of  the  town,  were  entitled  to 
yote  at  the  annual  election  or  town  meeting  to  be  held  on  the  first 
Monday  in  May.  The  trustees  were  authorized  to  formulate  such  or- 
dinances as  seemed  advisable,  but  an  ordinance  could  be  repealed  by  a 
majority  of  the  voters.  John  Askin  and  the  other  trustees,  except  Gir- 
ardin, took  the  oath  of  office  and  were  seated  on  February  9,  1802, 
thus  anticipating  the  governor's  signature  of  the  act  by  nine  days. 
They  appointed  the  following  officers:  Secretary,  Peter  Audrain; 
assessor,  Robert  Abbott;  collector,  Jacob  Clemens;  marshal,  Elias 
Wallen ;  messenger,  Louis  Pelletier.  Girardin  qualified  as  trustee  at  the 
next  meeting.  The  first  official  session  was  held  at  the  house  of  Trus- 
tee James  Henry,  where  an  ordinance  for  better  fire  protection  was 
passed.  By  its  terms  all  defective  chimneys  were  ordered  repaired  at 
once,  and  were  required  to  be  swept  once  in  two  weeks,  between  the 
months  of  October  and  May,  and  once  a  month  during  the  summer  sea- 
son. Each  householder  was  obliged  to  keep  a  barrel  filled  with  water 
in  some  convenient  place  about  his  premises ;  the  barrel  was  to  be  pro- 
vided with  ears  or  hooks  so  that  two  men  would  be  able  to  carry  it  sus- 
pended on  poles.      Each  householder  was  compelled  to  have  a  short 


ladder  to  reach  the  roof,  and  another  for  reaching  the  top  of  the  chim- 
ney. Shopkeepers  were  compelled  to  keep  in  readiness  a  large  bag 
holding  at  least  three  bushels,  and  every  person  was  to  keep  at  least 
two  buckets  each  of  three  gallons  capacity,  in  readiness.  At  the  first 
signal  of  fire  every  able  bodied  man  was  under  obligation  to  turn  out 
with  buckets,  and  the  shopkeepers  to  bring  both  their  buckets  for 
water  and  their  bags,  to  be  used  for  wetting  and  covering  the  roofs  of 
buildings  which  were  in  danger  of  ignition.  Neglect  of  any  of  these 
duties  subjected  the  delinquent  to  a  fine  of  five  dollars,  and  when  a  citi- 
zen's chimney  burned  out  he  was  assessed  ten  dollars  for  endangering 
the  property  of  his  neighbors.  Detroit's  first  fire  department  was  in- 
stituted February  23,  1802.  Jacques  Girardin  and  Augustin  La  Foy 
were  the  chiefs  in  command  of  the  engine,  an  old  fashioned  brake 
pump  purchased  by  the  British  several  years  before  the  surrender,  and 
they  were  associated  with  twelve  soldiers  who  were  appointed  by  Col. 
J.  F.  Hamtramck  as  a  fire  brigade.  In  addition  to  these  a  corps  of 
axemen  was  appointed,  consisting  of  Francois  Frero,  Presque  Cote, 
Sieur  Theophile  Mette,  Baptiste  Pelletier,  Charles  Poupard  dit  la  Fleur 
and  Presque  Cote,  jr.  Householders  were  limited  to  the  amount  of  gun- 
powder they  might  keep  on  their  premises,  but  the  allowance  was  most 
liberal,  the  legal  quantity  being  one  keg  or  half  a  barrel,  sufficient  to 
scatter  any  house  all  over  the  corporation.  In  the  earliest  times  fires 
were  extinguished  by  the  bucket  brigade,  who  passed  water,  hand  to 
hand,  from  the  river  to  the  fire,  and  the  water  was  dashed  against  the 
burning  buildings.  When  the  roofs  caught  fire  they  were  extinguished 
by  means  of  swabs  or  bundles  of  rags  secured  to  the  end  of  long 
poles.  These  were  dipped  into  buckets  of  water  and  applied  to  the 
burning  patches  in  the  roofs  with  good  effect.  When  the  fire  became 
serious,  additional  protection  was  secured  by  covering  the  roofs  with 
the  skins  of  fur  bearing  animals.  At  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth 
century  furs  had  become  too  valuable  to  be  thus  exposed  to  damage, 
so  the  large  bags  were  provided,  and  the  bagmen  spread  them  where 
the  danger  was  most  imminent,  and  kept  them  saturated  with  water. 
When  the  building  became  a  mass  of  roaring  flames  in  spite  of  the 
efforts  of  the  engine  men  and  the  bucket  passers,  the  battering  squad 
took  a  hand  at  the  fire.  Taking  up  a  green  log  as  heavy  as  they  could 
carry,  they  charged  at  the  burning  building  at  a  brisk  trot  and  dashing 
it  against  the  wall  with  all  their  might  sent  the  burning  timbers  down 
into  the  interior.      Following  along  each  wall  and  repeating  the  heavy 


blows,  they  could  soon  reduce  an  ordinary  building  to  the  height  of  a 
bonfire,  although  their  work  would  send  the  sparks  in  a  shower  which 
made  the  bagmen  hustle  on  the  adjoining  roofs. 

The  fire  department  grew  with  the  town,  and  the  citizens  were  allot- 
ted to  various  duties  according  to  their  talents.  There  was  a  crew  of 
axe  and  ladder  men,  twelve  in  number,  and  Benjamin  Woodworth  was 
their  captain.  Fourteen  men  of  long  limbs  and  broad  backs  manned 
the  hand  fire  engine  under  the  direction  of  David  C.  McKinstry.  The 
bagmen  were  selected  from  the  professional  class,  because  their  mus- 
cles were  not  trained  to  heavy  work.  Among  the  fourteen  men  of  this 
department  were  Henry  J.  Hunt,  captain;  Conrad  Ten  Eyck,  Solomon 
Sibley,  James  Abbott,  Abraham  Wendell,  Peter  J.  Desnoyers,  Philip 
L'Ecuyer,  Antoine  Dequindre;  each  of  these  men  left  his  mark  upon 
the  community.  A  hook  and  ladder  and  battering  ram  company  of 
twenty-one  men,  under  management  of  Robert  Irwin,  completed  the 
roster  of  the  Detroit  Fire  Company  in  1815. 

Robert  Gouise  and  Charles  Curry  were  appointed  house-to  house  in- 
spectors in  1802  to  enforce  the  fire  ordinance,  and  their  first  report  of 
delinquents  contained  the  name  of  nearly  every  village  official.  At 
every  council  meeting  during  several  succeeding  years  there  were  more 
or  less  complaints,  and  the  town  officials  were  as  often  subject  to  fines 
as  the  other  citizens.  Those  who  were  able  paid  the  full  amount  and 
those  who  were  poor  paid  commutation  fines,  according  to  their  means. 

On  March  20,  1802,  the  trustees  provided  for  the  establishment  of  a 
public  market.  The  site  was  "  on  the  river  front  between  the  old  bake 
house  and  the  east  line  of  pickets. "  Tuesdays  and  Fridays  were  set 
apart  as  market  days,  and  the  hours  were  from  daylight  until  noon. 
Fines  were  imposed  for  offering  meats  or  produce  for  sale  at  any  other 
place  about  the  town,  and  also  for  offering  unwholesome  meats.  James 
May,  a  very  prominent  citizen,  was  found  guilty  of  offering  diseased 
beef  for  sale,  and  after  five  witnesses  had  testified  against  him  he  was 
fined  $15.  On  the  same  day  his  colored  boy  was  caught  throwing  rub- 
bish on  the  public  common,  contrary  to  the  ordinance,  and  the  master 
had  to  pay  an  additional  fine  of  twenty-five  cents. 

On  March  24,  1802,  seventeen  delinquents  were  fined  for  violations 
of  the  fire  ordinance.  Among  them  were  four  trustees,  John  Askin, 
James  Henry,  Robert  Abbott  and  John  Dodemead;  Wayne  county  was 
also  fined,  the  law  having  been  violated  at  the  jail.  Dr.  Herman 
Eberts,  who  was  high  sheriff  of  Wayne  county  under  American  rule, 



and  had  been  since  1706,  was  another  of  the  delinquents.  He  wa^  an 
Austrian  count  and  a  surgeon  by  profession  and  came  to  America  dur- 
ing the  Revolution  with  a  Hessian  regiment.  He  resigned  shortly  after 
arriving  and  settled  in  Quebec,  but  afterward  came  to  Detroit,  where 
he  engaged  in  mercantile  business  and  also  practiced  his  profession. 

At  the  first  election  on  May  3,  1802,  John  Askin  was  dropped,  and 
George  Meldrum  was  elected  in  his  place  on  the  board  of  trustees. 
The  ofificers  elected  were  Charles  F.  Girardin,  James  Henry,  John 
Dodemead,  George  Meldrum  and  Joseph  Campau.  Peter  Audrain  con- 
tinued as  secretary,  Robert  Abbott  as  assessor,  William  Smith  was 
madecoUector  and  Elias  Wallen,  marshal.  Smith  soon  resigned  and 
Conrad  Seek  was  appointed  collector  in  his  place.  At  this  meeting  the 
polls  were  open  from  11:  30  to  1 :  30,  and  after  canvassing  the  vote  the 
retiring  board  voted  the  freedom  of  the  town  to  Solomon  Sibley,  who 
came  to  Detroit  in  1797,  in  acknowledgment  of  his  services  in  framing 
the  act  of  incorporation  and  other  services  at  the  Legislature  of  ChilH- 
cothe  in  the  interest  of  Detroit. 

An  ordinance  to  prevent  racing  and  fast  driving  on  the  streets  was 
passed  April  1,  1802.  The  treasurer  of  the  town  had  for  his  compensa- 
tion three  percent,  of  the  moneys  turned  over  to  him,  and  the  collector 
had  the  same  proportion  of  his  collections.  The  secretary  was  allowed 
one  dollar  per  meeting,  and  one  cent  for  each  dozen  words  of  translation 
when  he  had  to  prepare  public  notices  in  both  French  and  English. 
These  notices  were  posted  in  a  public  place  in  the  daytime  and  taken 
'n  at  night.  The  marshal  and  the  official  messenger  were  allowed  one 
dollar  per  day  during  the  time  they  were  engaged.  On  April  17  a  tax 
levy  of  1^150  was  assessed  upon  the  town  for  public  improvements.  A 
poll  tax  of  twenty-five  cents  was  assessed  against  every  male  twenty- 
one  years  of  age  or  over,  and  the  balance  was  assessed  against  the 
owners  of  property. 

The  price  of  bread  and  the  size  of  loaves  were  also  regulated  by  the 
trustees.  Loaves  were  first  established  at  three  pounds  weight  and  at 
sixpence  a  loaf,  but  changes  in  the  price  of  flour  caused  the  scale  to  be 
raised  to  eight  cents  in  July.  Bread  had  to  be  baked  in  large  ovens, 
so  that  no  baking  was  done  by  the  ordinary  householders  and  the  pub- 
lic bake  houses  were  much  patronized.  Later  the  price  rose  until  a 
loaf  of  bread  cost  twelve  and  a  half  cents,  and  when  this  became  too 
close  a  margin  for  the  baker  the  weight  of  the  loaves  was  reduced. 

At  the  election  of  May,  1803,  James  May  became  chairman  of  the 



town  board  of  trustees.  His  associates  were  Robert  Abbott,  Charles 
Curry,  Dr.  William  Scott  and  Elijah  Brush.  The  freedom  of  the  cor- 
poration was  extended  to  Jonathan  Scheiffelin,  a  member  of  the  Ter- 
ritorial Legislature.  Detroit  was  a  turbulent  town  in  those  days. 
Taverns  were  numerous  and  most  of  them  were  low  groggeries. 
Some  licenses  were  revoked  because  the  proprietors  kept  disorderly 
houses,  and  an  ordinance  was  passed  forbidding  the  sale  of  strong 
drink  on  the  Sabbath,  except  to  travelers;  also  forbidding  the  sale  to 
minors,  servants,  or  to  colored  slaves,  unless  with  the  consent  of  par- 
ents or  masters.  The  records  of  the  board  are  loaded  with  complaints 
against  persons  for  "  riotous  and  disorderly  conduct"  while  drunk,  and 
the  culprits  were  of  all  colors  and  both  sexes.  Liquor  cases  and  fire 
ordinance  violations  were  about  the  only  misdemeanors  mentioned. 

Solomon  Sibley  was  elected  chairman  of  the  board  of  trustees  in 
1804.  His  associates  were  James  Abbott,  Henry  Berthelet,  Joseph 
Wilkinson  and  Frederick  Bates.  Peter  Audrain  was  secretary,  John 
Watson  assessor,  Peter  Desnoyers  collector,  and  Thomas  McCrae  mes- 
senger. McCrae  was  appointed  the  first  member  of  the  Detroit  police 
force  and  also  clerk  of  the  market.  It  was  his  duty  to  examine  all 
yards  and  alleys  and  public  streets  every  two  weeks  and  report  their 
condition.  He  was  the  first  house-to-house  sanitary  inspector,  health 
officer  and  fire  warden;  and  although  his  functions  were  important, 
his  pay  was  fixed  at  only  seventy- five  cents  a  day.  The  services  he 
then  rendered  now  cost  Detroit  over  $600,000  a  year. 

Solomon  Sibley,  who  was  an  able  attorney,  was  one  of  the  first  Ameri- 
can settlers  to  arrive  at  Detroit  for  permanent  residence.  He  was  born 
in  New  England  and  came  west  with  a  colony  which  settled  at  Mari- 
etta, the  first  capital  of  the  Ohio  territory.  Impressed  with  the  im- 
portance of  Detroit's  geographical  location,  he  came  to  Detroit  and 
settled  there  early  in  1797.  He  soon  became  prominent  in  the  affairs 
of  the  town  and  each  year  saw  a  wider  recognition  of  his  ability,  hon- 
esty and  his  sagacity  in  public  affairs,  as  before  mentioned.  He  be- 
came a  trustee  of  Detroit  and  was  chosen  chairman  of  the  board,  and 
was  a  representative  at  the  Territorial  Council  and  at  the  General 
Assembly  at  Chillicothe.  In  1802  he  went  to  Marietta,  where  he  mar- 
ried the  daughter  of  Col.  Ebenezer  Sproat.  The  happy  pair  in  return- 
ing stopped  at  the  house  of  Major  Jonathan  Cass,  at  Zanesville. 
When  their  horses  had  been  sent  to  shelter  for  the  night,  Mr.  Sibley 
noticed  a  square  built  young  man  of  twenty  years  of  age,  of  grave 


countenance  and  dignified  manners,  engaged  in  pounding  Indian  corn 
into  "samp,"  as  the  coarsely  broken  grain  was  called  by  the  Indians. 
A  large  oak  stump  which  stood  beside  the  house  had  been  hollowed 
out  by  the  woodman's  axe  and  a  small  fire  of  charcoal,  until  it  would 
hold  perhaps  half  a  bushel  of  corn.  Over  the  stump  projected  the 
limb  of  another  tree  to  which  a  heavy  wooden  pestle,  perhaps  six  feet 
long,  had  been  secured  by  a  strong  withe.  The  young  man,  with  the 
assistance  of  the  limb  of  the  tree,  was  swinging  the  heavy  pestle 
rapidly  up  and  down,  and  at  every  descent  the  corn  was  shattered,  the 
coarser  and  heavier  portions  seeking  the  bottom  of  the  hollow,  while 
the  light  hulls  gathered  at  the  top  to  be  blown  away  by  the  industrious 
workman.  This  young  man,  who  certainly  "  knew  enough  to  pound 
samp,"  was  Lewis  Cass,  who  had  just  returned  home  from  his  law 
studies  at  Marietta.  The  future  governor  of  Michigan,  secretary  of 
war  and  minister  to  France,  stood  face  to  face  with  the  future  repre- 
sentative and  future  judge  of  the  Supreme  Court. 

In  July,  1804,  the  first  dock  ordinance  was  prepared  by  Solomon 
Sibley  and  Frederick  Bates.  The  merchants'  wharf  was  falling  into 
ruin,  and  in  order  to  provide  for  its  future  maintenance  a  fee  of  $1.50 
was  charged  every  vessel  of  ten  tons  or  more  mooring  to  it.  Bateaux 
were  charged  twenty-five  cents,  and  pirogues  and  canoes  twelve  and  a 
half  cents.  The  wharf  was  free  on  market  days  to  those  who  brought 
produce  to  the  town.  Many  of  the  citizens  dipped  their  water  used  for 
domestic  purposes  from  this  wharf,  and  a  charge  of  one  dollar  a  year 
was  assessed  for  this  privilege,  but  there  was  an  outcry  against  it  and 
that  portion  of  the  ordinance  was  repealed. 

By  August  3,  1804,  the  Indians  had  become  so  hostile  under  British 
influence  at  Maiden,  that  a  night  patrol  was  established  in  Detroit.  It 
was  maintained  by  voluntary  service  for  the  protection  of  the  town 
against  fire  and  massacre.  Curfew  regulations  were  established,  and 
persons  who  were  found  abroad  after  eleven  o'clock  had  to  give  a 
good  account  of  themselves  or  go  to  the  watch  house.  Lights  were 
ordered  out  at  eleven  o'clock,  unless  sickness  compelled  them  to  be 
kept  burning.  On  Monday,  October  1,  the  first  memorial  to  Congress 
was  prepared  asking  for  better  military  protection.  An  ordinance  pro- 
hibiting bowling  with  cannon  balls  in  the  streets  was  passed  March  15, 

Col.  John  Francis  Hamtramck  became  commandant  of  Detroit  for 
the  second   time  in   1802,   succeeding  Col.   Thomas   Hunt.     His   first 


service  was  the  temporary  command  from  the  time  of  the  British'sur- 
render,  July  11,  1796,  until  the  arrival  of  General  Wayne,  commander- 
in-chief,  two  months  later.  When  he  came  to  the  command  the  second 
time  his  busy  life  was  drawing  to  its  close,  although  he  was  still  a  com- 
paratively young  man,  and  he  died  within  a  year.  Colonel  Ham- 
tramck  was  a  Revolutionary  soldier  of  fame,  the  first  American  com- 
mandant of  Detroit  and  its  dependencies,  and  a  volunteer  alien 
defender  of  our  liberty  and  independence,  who  is  entitled  to  rank 
with  Kosciusko,  La  Fayette,  Pulaski,  De  Kalb  and  Steuben,  for 
Hamtramck  was  one  of  the  Canadian  refugees  who  espoused  the  cause 
of  the  feeble  colonists  in  1776  He  was  born  in  Quebec  on  August  16, 
1756,  and  his  father  was  Charles  David  Hamtramck  dit  L'Allemand,  a 
barber,  and  a  son  of  David  Hamtramck  and  Adele  Garnik  of  Luxem- 
bourg, diocese  of  Treves,  Germany.  Charles  David  Hamtramck  mar 
ried  Mane  Ann  Bertin  at  Quebec  in  November,  1753,  and  three  years 
afterward  their  illustrious  son  was  born.  John  Francis  Hamtramck 
was  in  New  York  when  he  joined  the  army,  a  boy  of  less  than  twenty 
years.  He  fought  gallantly  until  the  close  of  the  Revolution  and  was 
afterward  under  St.  Clair  and  Wayne  in  the  Indian  wars.  He  was 
made  major  in  1789;  lieutenant-colonel  in  1793;  commanded  the  left 
wing  of  "Mad"  Anthony's  army  at  the  battle  of  Maumee  in  1794; 
subsequently  promoted  colonel  of  the  First  Regiment  of  the  United 
States  Infantry;  and  entered  Detroit  the  next  day  after  the  British 
evacuation  on  July  11,  1796.  He  purchased  a  farm  from  Jacques 
Campau,  fronting  on  the  river,  and  next  east  of  the  Cook  farm,  and  in 
1802  built  a  hewn  log  house,  which  is  still  standing,  but  in  a  ruinous 
condition.  It  is  on  the  river  bank  in  rear  of  the  Hagar  brothers'  resi- 
dence on  Jefferson  avenue.  But  the  hardships  of  war  had  undermined 
his  constitution  and  he  died  on  April  11,  1803,  aged  forty-five  years 
seven  months  and  twenty-eight  days.  His  estate,  which  went  to  his 
widow,  Rebecca  Hamtramck,  footed  up  only  $2,138.47.  The  house- 
hold effects  were  stored  in  the  citadel  and  were  consumed  in  the  great 
fire  of  1805.  His  two  daughters  subsequently  inherited  and  sold  the 
farm.  His  remains,  which  were  first  interred  in  the  burial  ground  of 
St.  Anne's  church  on  Larned  street,  were  subsequently  removed  to 
Mt.  Elliott  cemetery  and  reinterred  in  the  Elliott  lot,  where  they  now 
rest  under  the  massive  stone  erected  by  his  fellow  officers  at  the  time 
of  his  death. 



Rule  of  the  Governor  and  Judges— Schemes  of  the  Rapacious  Land-Grabbers — 
John  Askin  and  Others  Attempt  to  Get  Possession  of  20,000,000  Acres  by  Bribing 
Congressmen — Their  Schemes  Exposed — Governor  Hull  and  Judge  Woodward. 

A  local  assembly  was  called  in  Detroit  in  December,  1804,  at  which 
James  May  and  Robert  Abbott  prepared  two  petitions  to  Congress,  ask- 
ing that  the  territory  lying  north  of  an  east  and  west  line,  running  east 
from  the  head  of  Lake  Michigan,  which  had  been  designated  as  Wayne 
county  since  1796,  be  organized  into  a  separate  territory  to  be  known  as 
Michigan.  The  vast  territory  obtained  under  the  Louisiana  purchase 
was  placed  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Indiana  territory  in  1804. 
When  Congress  convened  in  1805  the  prayer  of  the  Detroit  and  Wayne 
county  residents  was  heard,  and  an  act  was  passed  granting  their  re- 

Amid  all  this  juggling  of  boundaries  and  other  changes  the  land- 
grabbers  were  not  id-le.  Previous  to  1796,  while  territories,  states  and 
nations  were  laying  claim  to  territory  in  the  West,  private  individuals 
undertook  to  advance  their  fortunes  by  various  land-grabbing  schemes. 
When  it  became  evident  that  the  United  States  would  ultimately  win 
the  cause  for  which  they  were  struggling,  several  British  subjects  under- 
took to  get  hold  of  vast  areas  by  securing  private  grants  from  the 
Indians.  The  most  notable  attempt  of  this  kind  was  in  1795,  when 
John  Askin  enlisted  his  friends  and  relatives  in  a  scheme  which  was  to 
give  them  a  principality  of  20,000,000  acres,  lying  between  Lakes  Erie 
and  Michigan  in  the  richest  section  of  Michigan,  Ohio  and  Indiana. 
Askin  was  associated  with  John  Askin,  jr.,  his  son;  Richard  Pattinson, 
his  son-in-law;  Robert  Innes,  William  Robertson  and  Jonathan  Scheif- 
felin.  Their  scheme  consisted  in  forming  a  stock  company  and  issuing 
forty-one  equal  and  undivided  shares  of  stock.  Five  of  these  shares 
were  to  be  bestowed  upon  certain  Detroiters  who  were  in  terms  of  in- 
timacy with  the  Indians,  for  which  they  were  to  use  their  influence  in 
inducing  the  Indians  to  sign  the  deed.  Other  attempts  of  private  in- 
dividuals to  secure  private  grants  from  the  Indians  had  failed,  because 
Congress  had  refused  to  recognize  or  confirm  such  grants.     To  sur- 


mount  this  obstacle,  twenty-four  shares  of  the  stock  were  set  aside  to 
be  used  in  purchasing  the  votes  of  enough  members  of  Congress  in 
order  to  insure  a  confirmation  of  the  Indian  deed.  It  was  expected 
that  many  votes  would  be  secured  upon  the  mere  representation  that 
the  company  intended  to  develop  the  resources  of  the  acquired  terri- 
tory, and  make  it  a  public  as  well  as  a  private  benefit.  The  promoters 
were  to  be  satisfied  with  twelve  shares,  each  share  representing  about 
50,000  acres  of  land.  Their  scheme  made  a  promising  beginning,  as 
the  Indians  were  cajoled  into  signing  their  totems  to  the  grant  asked 
for,  and  it  remained  for  the  promoters  to  secure  a  confirmation  of  the 
deed.  Two  of  the  ablest  lobbyists  in  the  country  were  employed  to 
work  the  scheme  through  Congress,  and  they  were  prepared  to  bribe 
the  members  who  could  not  be  won  by  persuasion.  The  lobbyists. 
Dr.  Robert  Randall  of  Philadelphia,  and  Charles  Whitney  of  Vermont, 
began  their  labors  in  the  legislative  hall  at  Philadelphia  on  December 
16,  1795.  Lobbying  had  not  yet  arisen  to  its  present  standard  among 
the  fine  arts,  or  the  congressmen  of  that  session  were  more  honest  than 
those  of  the  Credit-Mobilier  days,  for  on  December  28,  1795,  Congress- 
man William  Smith,  of  South  Carolina,  arose  before  the  House  and  ex- 
posed the  whole  scheme.  Randall  and  Whitney  were  brought  before 
the  bar  of  the  House  for  examination.  Dr.  Randall  was  discharged 
for  lack  of  evidence,  but  his  colleague,  who  had  probably  worked  with 
less  finesse,  was  reprimanded  by  the  speaker  and  was  fined  the  amount 
of  the  costs. 

Askin's  purpose  was  defeated,  but  he  was  not  yet  discouraged.  Next 
year  he  went  to  work  to  obtain  an  individual  grant.  Since  it  was  evi- 
dent that  he  could  not  get  a  deed  of  absolute  title  through  Congress,  he 
tried  his  luck  at  obtaining  a  lease  for  999  years.  After  visiting  the 
councils  of  twenty- nine  chiefs  who  claimed  titles  on  the  lands  south  of 
Lake  Erie,  he  obtained  a  lease  of  a  tract  of  land  extending  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Cuyahoga  River  westward  as  far  as  Sandusky  Bay,  a  dis- 
tance of  fifty-nine  miles,  extending  southward  an  equal  distance,  mak- 
ing a  total  of  2,227,840  acres.  The  deed  or  lease  was  executed  by  the 
Indians  on  January  18,  1796,  and  the  consideration  named  was  a  gra- 
tuity of  five  shillings  a  year  to  each  of  the  grantors  and  other  considera- 
tions, probably  the  furnishing  of  arms,  blankets,  ammunition,  scalping 
knives,  etc.  To  strengthen  his  claim  the  younger  Askin  moved  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Cuyahoga  River  in  1797,  expecting  to  secure  the  rights 
of  a  squatter  in  addition  to  the  lease,  but  Congress  refused  to  confirm  it. 


In  commenting-  on  the  first  described  "frustrated  land-grab,"  Judge 
Campbell,  in  his  "Political  History  of  Michigan,"  says:  "Was  this 
really  an  attempt  of  the  British  government  to  retain  ownership  of 
Michigan  lands,  knowing  that  it  could  not  retain  sovereignty?" 

The  Territory  of  Michigan,  which  was  carved  out  of  Indiana  Terri- 
tory, came  into  being  by  act  of  Congress  on  June  30,  1805,  and  five 
officers  were  commissioned  to  rule  it,  as  follows:  Governor,  William 
Hull;  secretary,  Stanley  Griswold;  treasurer,  Frederick  Bates ;  justices 
of  Supreme  Court,  A.  B  Woodward,  Frederick  Bates  and  John  Griffin. 
Detroit  was  made  the  seat  of  government,  and  the  ordinances  of  1787 
and  1789  were  made  the  fundamental  law  of  the  new  Territory.  Michi- 
gan Territory  in  1805  comprised  the  territory  represented  by  the  pres- 
ent low^er  peninsula,  a  narrow  strip  across  Indiana  and  Ohio  which  lay 
north  of  the  line  drawn  due  east  from  the  southern  extremity  of  Lake 
Michigan,  and  the  eastern  half  of  the  upper  peninsula.  The  western 
border  was  on  a  line  drawn  through  the  center  of  Lake  Michigan,  and 
the  east  line,  according  to  the  Jay  treaty,  was  in  the  center  of  the  main 
channel  of  navigation  in  the  Detroit  and  St.  Clair  Rivers  and  Lake  St. 
St.  Clair,  and  through  the  center  of  Lake  Huron  to  Sault  Ste.  Marie. 
The  three  judges  necessarily  formed  the  highest  judiciary,  but  they 
had  other  important  powers.  With  the  governor  they  formed  the  legis- 
lature, so  that  the  judicial,  legislative  and  executive  powers  in  the  new 
Territory  were  all  centered  in  four  persons.  In  this  first  step  of  Michi- 
gan toward  distinct  political  entity  the  personality  and  character  of  her 
first  rulers  will  be  found  of  interest. 

William  Hull  was  a  native  of  Derby,  Conn.,  and  was  born  on  June 
24,  1753,  of  English  ancestry.  His  father  was  a  member  of  the  Con- 
necticut Legislature  for  many  years.  Young  Hull  worked  on  a  farm 
and  attended  school,  entered  Yale  College  and  graduated  after  a  four 
years'  course,  when  he  was  nineteen.  He  taught  school  and  afterward 
studied  law  at  Litchfield,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1775.  Re- 
turning home  amid  the  excitement  of  the  war  then  declared  against 
Great  Britain,  he  was  elected  captain  of  a  Derby  company,  and  while 
making  preparations  to  go  to  the  front  his  father  died.  He  delayed 
not,  however,  but  marched  with  his  company  and  joined  a  regiment 
which  proceeded  to  Cambridge,  then  Washington's  headquarters.  Here 
an  incident  occurred  which  showed  his  predilection  for  etiquette  and 
display,  which  was  more  fully  developed  at  Detroit  in  his  efforts  to 
force  expensive  uniforms  on  the  poverty-stricken  militia  of  the  Territory. 


There  was  little  regard  for  military  style  in  the  camp,  and  when  his 
regiment  turned  out  to  meet  an  expected  attack,  he  was  the  only  officer 
in  uniform.  The  other  officers  said  he  was  making  himself  too  conspic- 
uous; that  he  would  draw  the  enemy's  fire.  So  he  went  to  his  tent, 
took  off  the  uniform  and  donned  a  dress  like  the  other  officers — a  frock 
coat  and  handkerchief  tied  around  his  head.  He  was  placed  in  charge 
of  a  redoubt,  and  when  Washington  was  inspecting  the  regiment  he 
asked  the  name  of  the  officer  commanding  the  company.  "  With  feel- 
ings of  inexpressible  mortification,"  says  Hull,  "  I  came  forward  in  my 
savage  costume  and  reported  that  Captain  Hull  had  the  honor  of  com- 
manding the  redoubt."  Washington  passed  on  and  the  mortified  young 
officer  forthwith  sent  for  his  uniform  and  donned  it  once  more.  In 
1777  he  was  made  major  of  the  Eighth  Massachusetts  Regiment,  and 
in  1779  he  was  promoted  to  lieutenant-colonel.  It  is  said  that  he  was 
a  brave  soldier,  but  the  only  separate  command  with  which  he  was  in- 
trusted was  a  force  of  400  men  in  an  expedition  against  Mdrrisania,  on 
the  East  River,  near  Hell  Gate,  New  York,  But  in  this  affair  he  did 
not  distinguish  himself.  In  1784  he  was  sent  by  the  government  to 
Quebec  in  order  to  ascertain  from  Governor  Haldimand  why  Detroiljf 
Niagara  and  Mackinac  had  not  been  surrendered  by  the  British,  in  ac- 
cordance with  the  treaty  of  Ghent  of  the  previous  year.  He  obtained 
no  satisfaction,  as  Great  Britain  was  not  yet  willing  to  release  her  hold 
on  this  region  of  the  Northwest.  At  the  conclusion  of  the  war  of  the 
Revolution  he  settled  at  Newton,  Mass.,  and  practiced  law.  In  1786 
occurred  the  so-called  Shay's  rebellion.  The  treaty  with  Great  Britain 
had  guarantied  that  citizens  of  the  United  States  who  were  indebted  to 
British  merchants  before  the  war,  should  pay  their  just  debts.  This 
made  great  trouble,  as  the  country  was  almost  bankrupt  and  everybody 
was  poor.  The  courts  were  about  to  issue  attachments  and  executions, 
and  the  rebellion  consisted  in  bodies  of  citizens  forcibly  preventing  the 
judges  from  holding  court.  Hull  aided  in  the  suppressing  of  this  in- 
surrection, in  which  several  persons  were  killed  and  wounded  and  over 
a  hundred  taken  prisoners.  In  1793  he  was  appointed  a  commissioner 
to  make  arrangements  with  the  British  government  for  a  treaty  with 
the  western  Indians,  then  at  war  with  the  United  States,  but  nothing 
came  of  it.  In  the  same  year  he  was  appointed  judge  of  the  Court  of 
Common  Pleas,  and  was  also  elected  senator  in  the  Massachusetts  Leg- 
islature. He  was  a  popular  man  and  was  re-elected  senator  every  year 
until  he  was  appointed   governor  of  Michigan   Territory  by  President 



Jefferson  on  March  22,  1805.  In  the  latter  position  he  was  appointed 
for  three  years  and  was  reappointed  for  two  successive  terms.  When  he 
arrived  in  Detroit  on  July  1,  1805,  he  was  a  little  over  fifty  two  years 
of  age. 

Augustus  B.  Woodward,  the  chief  justice  or  presiding  judge,  by  vir- 
tue of  his  commission  being  the  earliest,  was  a  native  of  Alexandria, 
Va.  He  held  the  position  from  1805,  when  the  Territory  was  created, 
until  1823,  when  he  was  virtually  legislated  out  of  office,  a  period  of 
eighteen  years.  He  came  of  an  old  Virginia  family  whose  holdings 
were  near  Alexandria,  and  he  was  doubtless  educated  in  Virginia  or 
Maryland.  Little  of  his  early  life  or  family  is  known.  He  commenced 
to  practice  law  in  Washington  about  1795,  after  he  had  attained  legal 
manhood.  The  capital  was  then  a  mere  expanse  of  forest  and  swamp, 
with  a  scattered  group  of  houses  and  a  small  population,  and  its  site 
and  its  isolation  from  the  busy  cities  of  commerce  gave  rise  to  much 
ridicule  on  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic.  He  was  present,  in  1792,  at  the 
ceremony  of  laying  the  corner  stone  of  the  District  of  Columbia  at 
Jones  Point,  near  Alexandria,  and  his  card  as  an  attorney  at  law  ap- 
peared in  the  National  Intelligencer  of  Washington  in  1803.  At  that 
time  one  wing  of  the  present  Capitol  had  been  built  and  this,  with  the 
White  House,  were  then  the  only  large  buildings  in  that  city.  Wash- 
ington was  laid  out  by  a  French  engineer  named  L'Enfant,  who  fol 
lowed  the  plan  of  Versailles,  which  was  that  of  the  spider  web,  with 
its  diagonal  main  avenues  and  concentric  streets  converging  at  the  pal- 
ace of  Louis  XIV.  Woodward  was  an  intimate  friend  of  the  French 
engineer,  who,  like  himself,  was  educated  and  eccentric,  and  he  took 
great  interest  in  the  plans  of  the  future  great  capital.  He  was  also  a 
friend  of  his  fellow  Virginian,  President  Thomas  Jefferson,  who  ad- 
mired his  literary  and  legal  ability,  and  the  latter  commissioned  him  as 
presiding  judge  of  the  Territory  of  Michigan  early  in  1805.  When  he 
came  here  shortly  after  the  great  fire  on  July  11,  1805,  he  saw  the  pos- 
sibilities of  improvement,  and  when  he  returned  to  Washington  in 
August,  procured  a  copy  of  the  plans  of  that  city  from  L'Enfant.  He 
either  assumed  or  was  given  the  principal  direction  of  the  plans  for 
laying  out  the  new  town,  and  the  result  is  the  present  plan  of  Detroit 
which  is  named  the  Governor  and  Judges'  plan.  His  plan  was  partly 
superseded  by  the  plan  of  Abijah  Hull,  a  surveyor  and  relative  of  the 
governor,  but  the  distinctive  spider  web  idea  was  retained  and  carried 
into  effect.      Personally  and  judicially  the  judge  was  a  unique  and  in- 


teresting  character,  and  his  name  and  fame  are  indissolubl)'^  connected 
with  the  history  of  the  city.  In  Farmer's  History  of  Detroit  his  per- 
sonal appearance  is  described  as  follows:  "  The  judge  was  very  tall, 
with  a  sallow  complexion,  and  usually  appeared  in  court  with  a  long, 
loose  overcoat,  or  a  swallow-tailed  coat  with  brass  buttons,  a  red 
cravat,  and  a  buff  vest,  which  was  always  open  and  from  which  pro- 
truded an  immense  mass  of  ruffles.  These  last,  together  with,  the 
broad  ruffles  at  his  wrists,  were  invariably  soiled.  His  pantaloons  hung 
in  folds  to  his  feet,  meeting  a  pair  of  boots  which  were  always  well 
greased.  His  hair  received  his  special  attention  and  on  court  days 
gave  evidence  of  the  best  efforts  of  the  one  tonsorial  artist  of  the  town. 
He  was  never  known  to  be  fully  under  the  influence  of  liquor,  but 
always  kept  a  glass  of  brandy  on  the  bench  before  him.  In  the  even- 
ing he  would  go  to  Mack  &  Conant's  store  (which  was  on  the  north 
side  of  Jefferson  avenue,  between  Woodward  avenue  and  Griswold 
street)  and  sit  and  talk  and  smoke  his  pipe  and  sip  half  a  pint  of 
whisky  until  it  was  all  gone." 

Mack  &  Conant's  partnership  extended  from  1817  to  18"-^0  and  during 
this  time  their  clerk  and  bookkeeper  was  the  late  David  Cooper,  father 
of  Rev.  David  M.  Cooper.  David  was  a  careful  and  conscientious  clerk 
and  kept  note  of  everything  affecting  his  employers'  interest.  In  due 
time  he  submitted  a  bill  for  the  liquor.  The  judge  protested,  saying 
that  it  was  ridiculous  to  charge  for  a  little  whisky.  "  But  it  is  not  a 
little,"  said  Cooper,  "it  is  a  good  deal;  I  kept  count  and  I  find  you 
have  drank  three  gallons  and  a  half."  Woodward  paid  the  bill,  but 
with  a  bad  grace.  Perhaps  the  best  thing  that  Woodward  did  for  De- 
troit was  his  work  in  having  the  city  laid  out  with  broad  avenues,  on 
the  plan  above  described.  The  angles  caused  by  this  plan  entailed 
small  triangular  parks  at  the  intersections  and  these  he  suggested 
should  be  planted  with  trees.  There  is  no  doubt  that  his  influence  and 
work  in  this  respect  has  made  modern  Detroit  one  of  the  most  beauti- 
ful cities  in  the  world.  Woodward  had  a  legal  mind  of  no  common 
order,  great  literary  ability  and  fine  executive  and  administrative  pow- 
ers, but  his  merits  as  a  jurist  and  legislator  were  obscured  by  his  colossal 
vanity.  He  was  an  able  and  learned  man,  but  was  afflicted  with  a 
pedantry  which  was  often  absurd  and  ridiculous ;  and  his  arrogance, 
which  was  ever  usurping  the  rights  or  privileges  of  the  people.  No 
ruler  of  Detroit  was  ever  so  detested  by  the  more  intelligent  citizens, 
but  he  nevertheless  had  many  friends.      He  was  brainy  and  masterful 


and  bristled  with  ideas  on  every  subject,  and  his  initiative  in  law,  poli- 
tics and  municipal  affairs  was  generally  adopted.  Complaint  after 
complaint  with  reference  to  his  official  conduct  went  to  Congress, 
signed  by  the  most  influential  citizens,  but  his  influence  in  Washington 
was  strong  enough  to  enable  him  to  maintain  his  position  until  1823, 
when  an  act  was  passed  in  Congress  providing  that  the  people  of  the 
Territory  should  elect  their  own  legislature  in  1824  and  thereafter.  His 
experience  in  trying  to  be  elected  delegate  to  Congress,  in  which  he 
was  defeated  twice,  showed  him  that  his  career  in  Michigan  was  over. 
He  resigned  shortly  after  the  act  was  passed,  went  to  Washington, 
where  he  was  appointed  judge  of  the  Territory  of  Florida,  and  died  at 
Tallahassee  on  July  12,  1827.  He  was  never  married.  Woodward 
owned,  laid  out  and  named  Ypsilanti. 

Frederick  Bates  was  born  at  Belmont,  Goochland  county,  Ohio,  on 
June  23,  1777,  of  Quaker  parents.  He  received  a  good  education  but 
did  not  attend  a  college,  and  in  early  life  was  employed  in  the  office  of 
the  clerk  of  a  Circuit  Court  in  his  native  State.  In  1797  he  came  to  De- 
troit when  he  was  twenty  years  of  age  and  engaged  in  mercantile  busi- 
ness, improving  his  mind  during  leisure  hours  by  studying  law  and 
history.  He  was  postmaster  of  Detroit  from  1803  to  1806.  Official 
honors  then  came  thick  upon  him.  In  1804  he  was  appointed  receiver 
of  the  Detroit  land  office;  trustee  in  1804-05;  United  States  territorial 
judge  in  1805-06 ;  and  territorial  treasurer  during  the  same  year.  In 
1806  he  removed  to  the  Territory  of  Missouri,  where  he  held  several 
exalted  offices  and  in  1821  was  elected  governor  of  that  State.  He  died 
on  August  4,  1825,  on  his  farm  at  Bonhomme,  Mo  ,  on  the  bank  of  the 
Missouri  River. 

John  Griffin,  who  was  territorial  judge  from  1805  to  1823,  was  ex- 
actly cotemporarary  with  Woodward  in  that  office  and  resigned  at  the 
same  time.  He  was  a  native  of  Virginia,  born  about  1799,  and  proba- 
bly studied  law  in  that  State.  He  made  the  great  tour  in  Europe  and 
when  he  returned  landed  at  Philadelphia,  and  was  appointed  by  Jeffer- 
son as  above.  Judge  B.  F.  Witherell  alludes  to  Griffin  as  a  man  who 
"was  constitutionally  inert,  wanted  firmness  and  decision  of  character, 
and  disliked  responsibility,  but  was  considered  an  upright  judge  and 
honest  man."  It  was  probably  Judge  Witherell's  kindly  disposition 
that  dictated  the  last  paragraph,  as  it  is  difficult  to  understand  honesty 
and  uprightness  when  coupled  with  the  other  characteristics.  He  was 
subservient  to  Woodward  and  invariably  voted  with  him  on  the  bench. 


Every  week  after  the  Gazette  was  started,  in  1817,  it  contained  one  or 
mo  e  squibs  and  editorials  directed  against  Woodward  and  Griffin, 
many  of  them  written  nearly  as  well  as  the  Junius  letters.  One  of 
these  articles  was  as  follows:  "  A  singular  question  has  arisen  under 
the  law  of  this  Territory  exempting  property  taken  on  execution. 
This  law  exempts  the  tools  necessary  for  the  trade  or  profession  of  the 
party.  Suppose  now  an  execution  was  issued  against  the  goods  and 
chattels  of  his  honor,  Judge  Woodward,  would  or  would  not,  his  other 
honor,  Judge  Griffin,  be  exempt  from  execution  ?  "  The  Gazette  added 
that  a  "learned  counselor  had  given  it  as  his  professional  opinion  that 
Judge  Griffin  must  be  taken,  because  the  law  will  not  exempt  tools 
used  for  the  purpose  of  fraud."  In  1823,  when  Judge  Woodward  re- 
signed. Griffin  followed  his  example  and  it  is  said  went  to  Philadelphia 
and  died  there  between  1842  and  1845.  Judge  Witherell  said  that 
when  he  died  he  was  the  next  in  descent  to  a  Scottish  peerage. 


Great  Fire  of  1805— The  Entire  Town  Destroyed  on  June  11— Three  Hundred 
Families  Left  Homeless — Relief  Measures  and  Grant  of  the  10,000  Acres— Judge 
Woodward  Lays  out  a  New  City  on  the  Scale  of  Paris — The  Territorial  Militia. 

A  great  disaster  befell  the  city  on  Tune  11,  1805.  Detroit  was  a 
crowded  collection  of  wooden  buildings  built  in  narrow  streets.  Many 
of  the  buildings  had  thatched  roofs,  and  the  aged  timbers  in  many  of 
them  were  as  dry  as  tinder  after  the  seasoning  of  more  than  a  century. 
The  people  had  been  fully  alive  to  their  danger  from  fire;  had  pur- 
chased a  hand  fire  engine  during  the  last  days  of  the  British  regime, 
and  had  enacted  stringent  fire  regulations,  but  the  old  town  was 
doomed.  On  the  morning  of  June  11,  John  Harvey,  a  baker,  was  in 
his  barn  hitching  up  a  pony  when  he  carelessly  knocked  out  the  ashes 
from  his  pipe.  The  embers  set  some  hay  on  fire,  and  before  Harvey 
could  realize  the  situation  the  whole  interior  was  in  flames.  He  shouted 
an  alarm,  and  the  whole  population  soon  came  scurrying  to  the  scene, 
attracted  by  the  outcry  and  the  rolling  volumes  of  smoke.  The  old  fire 
engine  was  put  in  service,  but  it  soon  became  disabled  through  failure 


of  the  valves,  and  the  people  formed  a  line  to  the  river  and  passed 
buckets  as  of  old.  Owing  to  the  close  proximity  of  the  building-s  and 
the  narrow  streets  the  fire  could  not  be  controlled.  All  the  population 
worked  hard  saving  what  they  could  of  the  household  goods,  and  the 
contents  of  the  doomed  houses  were  scattered  along  the  river  bank  and 
cast  about  in  the  adjoining  common.  All  the  others  were  mere  heaps  of 
glowing  embers  and  the  stone  chimneys  stood  above  the  ruins  like 
monuments  to  a  lost  civilization.  In  the  back  of  an  old  account  book 
which  belonged  to  George  Meldrum,  a  trader  who  lived  in  Detroit  at 
the  time  of  the  fire,  it  is  recorded  that  the  fire  began  at  8:30  in  the 
morning  and  that  it  lasted  about  four  hours.  At  12:  30  all  the  build- 
ings except  one  house  had  been  completely  consumed.  The  stockade 
and  houses  had  disappeared  and  were  now  blackened  ruins,  from  which 
came  here  and  there  slender  columns  of  smoke.  The  narrow  streets, 
the  old  quaint  houses  of  logs  with  their  steep  roofs  which  contained 
the  second  story;  the  foot- wide  timber  walks;  the  rude  furniture  with 
its  wealth  of  home  associations,  had  all  perished  in  those  few  hours; 
while  on  the  river  bank  were  tents  and  hastily  erected  shelters  of  bark 
or  poles  in  which  the  grief-stricken  residents  took  refuge.  Around 
them  were  the  scanty  remnants  of  their  household  effects  which  had 
been  snatched  from  the  flames.  Suffering  was  everywhere.  The  farm 
houses  along  the  river  were  crowded  with  destitute  people,  to  whom 
the  kindly  hospitality  of  the  French  owners  was  a  godsend.  Those 
who  could  not  find  shelter  camped  on  the  common  under  tents  and  ex- 
temporized cabins.  The  more  wealthy  sufferers  moved  across  the  river 
to  Sandwich  and  Amherstberg,  while  some  returned  to  the  homes  of 
their  ancestors  in  Lower  Canada  or  to  the  English  settlements  in  New 
York.  In  the  course  of  time  contributions  from  outside  came  to  the 
suft'erers,  mostly  from  Montreal  and  Mackinac,  the  total  amount  being 
about  $2,000.     The  loss  exceeded  $200,000. 

Within  the  narrow  limits  of  the  stockade  for  104  years  people  had 
been  born,  had  married  and  had  died.  Thousands  had  died  untimely 
deaths  by  war,  murder  or  massacre;  fortunes  had  been  lost  and  won; 
the  lilies  of  France,  the  cross  of  St.  George,  and  the  stars  and  stripes 
had  waved  over  its  fortresses;  but  now  all  was  gone  and  "  like  the 
baseless  fabric  of  a  vision,  left  not  a  wreck  behind."  It  was  a  holocaust 
of  vanished  memories.  Detroit  seemed  an  extinct  city,  which  lived 
only  in  the  history  of  the  past;  never  again  to  be  the  home  of  a  busy 
population  or  a  mart  of  trade. 


There  was  great  distress  in  Detroit  after  the  great  fire  and  those  who 
could  not  get  away  endured  considerable  hardships;  but  the  summer 
weather  greatly  mitigated  the  trouble  of  the  inhabitants.  The  money 
received  from  Montreal,  Mackinac  and  other  places  for  the  use  of  the 
sufferers  was  not  all  spent  for  the  purposes  for  which  it  was  sent,  and 
there  was  great  dissatisfaction.  Twelve  years  afterward  Solomon 
Sibley  turned  over  $625  of  it  to  the  university  fund.  The  population, 
which  had  been  greatly  reduced  in  1796  by  the  exodus  of  several  hun- 
dred to  Amherstburg  and  other  places  across  the  river,  was  not  more 
than  600  at  the  time  of  the  fire.  Perhaps  one-third  of  these  left  the 
city  and  sought  shelter  elsewhere.  Some  of  those  remaining  started 
to  build  new  log  houses,  but  they  were  restrained  by  Governor  Hull 
and  the  judges  and  other  officers,  who  told  them  that  a  new  plan  of  the 
city  would  be  prepared,  in  which  the  old  lot  lines,  both  inside  and  out- 
side of  the  stockade,  would  not  be  regarded.  These  orders  were  obeyed 
and  there  were  no  permanent  houses  built  during  the  remainder  of  the 
year.  The  lands  which  had  been  within  the  enclosure  and  also  a  con 
siderable  part  of  the  common  were  surveyed  and  laid  into  city  lots  and 
outlets.  Every  person  who  owned  a  lot  before  the  fire  was  allowed  to 
have  one  free  lot.  An  auction  was  held  to  ascertain  values,  and  the 
average  price  realized  from  the  sale  of  fourteen  lots  was  made  a  basis 
in  selling  other  lots.  This  was  from  $250  to  $300,  according  to  loca- 
tion. The  opportunity  for  a  big  land  deal  was  extremely  favorable  at 
this  time  and  persons  able  to  carry  it  out  were  not  wanting.  Late  in 
1805  Governor  Hull  and  Judge  Woodward  went  to  Washington,  and  by 
liberal  expenditures  for  wine  and  other  refreshments,  carried  through 
a  bill  authorizing  the  rulers  of  the  Territory  to  lay  out  in  lots  the  new 
town  and  10,000  acres  of  land  on  the  north.  Also,  to  give  a  lot  con- 
taining not  less  than  5,000  square  feet  to  every  inhabitant  over  seven- 
teen years  of  age.  The  land  remaining  was  to  be  sold,  and  the  money 
used  for  building  a  court  house  and  jail.  This  bill  was  passed  on  April 
21,  1806.  There  was  a  good  deal  of  red  tape  connected  with  the  par- 
celing out  of  the  lots,  and  the  delay  caused  great  vexation.  The  in- 
habitants who  remained  were  actually  obliged  to  live  the  whole  of  1806 
in  bark  shanties,  tents,  or  other  shelter,  and  next  year  there  were  only 
nineteen  deeds  issued  and  less  than  half  as  many  houses  built. 

In  the  fall  of  1806  the  land  board,  consisting  of  the  governor  and 
judges,  decided  that  three  classes  of  persons  were  entitled  to  lots, 
namely,  those  who  lived  in  Detroit  prior  to  the  fire  and  who  owned 


neither  houses  or  land;  those  who  owned  lots  at  the  time;  and  those 
who  owned  or  occupied  houses.  If  the  new  lots  were  larger  than  those 
formerly  owned  the  person  was  required  to  pay  two  or  three  cents  per 
square  foot  for  the  overplus.  The  question  was  raised  as  to  whether 
persons  who  had  come  to  Detroit  under  American  rule,  and  had  not 
taken  the  oath  of  allegiance,  should  receive  lots.  The  governor  and 
judges  sitting  as  a  land  board  decided  that  such  persons  had  no  rights. 
This  class  comprised  a  large  majority  of  the  inhabitants,  and  the  decis- 
ion raised  popular  excitement  to  white  heat,  but  the  board  bent  before 
the  storm  and  rescinded  their  decision.  Finally  everybody  got  a  lot, 
and  then  ensued  a  great  deal  of  trading  so  that  very  few  ever  kept  the 
original  parcel  given  them.  In  July,  1805,  Governor  Hull  divided  the 
territory  into  districts  and  designated  justices  of  the  peace  therefor  as 
follows:  Mackinac — Samuel  Abbott,  David  Duncan,  Josiah  Dunham, 
Francois  Le  Baron,  H.  Erie,  John  Anderson,  Francois  Navarre,  Isaac 
Ruland,  Francois  Lasselle,  Herbert  La  Croix  and  Jean  Baptiste  Beau- 
grand.  Detroit — Robert  Abbott,  James  Abbott,  James  Henry,  Elisha 
Avery,  James  May,  William  McDowell  Scott,  Matthew  Ernest,  John 
Dodemead,  Stanley  Griswold  and  Antoine  Dequindre.  Huron — Jean 
Marie  Beaubien,  George  Cotterell,  Christian  Clemens,  Louis  Campeau. 

In  September,  1805,  Governor  Hull,  as  commander-in  chief,  directed 
that  two  regiments  of  infantry  and  a  legionary  corps  be  organized,  the 
latter  body  comprising  all  sums  of  the  service,  and  appointed  the 
following  officers:  Aides  de-camp — Francois  Chabert  de  Joncaire, 
George  McDougall,  Solomon  Sibley.  Quartermaster-genera]  and  colo- 
nel— Matthew  Ernest.     Adjutant  general  and  colonel — James  May. 

First  Regiment — Colonel,  Augustus  B.  Woodward;  lieutenant- 
colonel,  Antoine  Beaubien;  major,  Gabriel  Godfroy;  adjutant,  Chris- 
topher Tuttle;  quartermaster,  Charles  Stewart;  captains,  Jacob  Vis- 
ger,  David  Duncan,  George  Cotterell,  Louis  Campeau,  James  Henry, 
Louis  St.  Bernard,  Joseph  Cerre  dit  St.  Jean,  Joseph  Campeau, 
Jean  Cisne;  lieutenants,  Samuel  Abbott,  John  Meldrum,  Whitmore 
Knaggs,  Jean  Marie  Beaubien,  Christian  Clemens,  James  Campeau, 
Thomas  Tremble,  Francois  Chovin,  Joseph  Wilkinson;  ensigns,  Allen 
C.  Wilmot,  George  Cotterell,  jr.,  Jean  Baptiste  Cicott,  James  Con- 
nor, John  Dix,  Francois  Rivard,  Francois  Tremble,  John  Ruland, 
John  Burnett;  chaplain.  Rev.  Gabriel  Richard;  surgeon,  William  Mc- 

Second  Regiment — Colonel,  John  Anderson;  lieutenant  colonel,  Fran- 


cois  Navarre;  major,  Lewis  Bond;  adjutant,  Giles  Barnes;  quarter- 
master, Alex.  Ewings;  surgeon,  Ethan  Baldwin;  surgeon's  mate, 
Bernard  Parker;  captains,  Joseph  Jobin,  Jean  Baptiste  Beaugrand, 
Francois  Lasselle,  Hubert  La  Croix,  Jean  Baptiste  Jeraume,  Joseph 
Menard,  William  Griffith,  Prosper  Thebeau;  lieutenants,  Hyacinth  La 
Joy,  Francois  De  Forgue,  Jean  Baptiste  La  Salle,  Jacques  Martin, 
Jean  Baptiste  Couteur,  Jacques  W.  Navarre,  Thomas  Knaggs,  Andrew 
Jourdon.  Cornet  of  cavalry,  Samuel  Moore;  ensigns,  Joseph  Cavalier, 
James  Knaggs,  Alexis  Loranger,  Joseph  Bourdeaux,  Isidore  Navarre, 
Joseph  Huntingdon,  Dominique  Drouillard. 

Legionary  Corps — Lieutenant-colonel,  Elijah  Brush;  major,  James 
Abbott;  adjutant,  Abraham  Fuller  Hull;  quartermaster,  Charles  Curry; 
surgeon,  John  Brown,  Captain  of  cavalry,  James  Lasalle;  captain  of 
artillery,  John  Williams;  captain  of  light  infantry,  George  Hoffman; 
captain  of  riflemen,  William  McDowell  Scott;  lieutenant  of  cavalry, 
Richard  Smythe;  first  lieutenant  of  artillery,  James  Dodemead;  second 
lieutenant  of  artillery,  Henry  J.  Hunt;  lieutenant  of  light  infantry, 
Benjamin  Crittenden;  lieutenant  of  riflemen,  Barnabas  Campeau;  cor- 
net of  cavalry,  Gabriel  Godefroy  or  Godfroy,  jr. ;  ensign  of  light  in- 
fantry, George  Meldrum;  ensign  of  riflemen,  Pierre  Navarre. 

Governor  Hull  prescribed  most  elaborate  uniforms  for  his  territorial 
troops.  According  to  his  orders  the  privates  were  ordered  to  clothe 
themselves  in  long  coats  of  dark  blue  cloth,  the  skirts  reaching  to  the 
knee  and  they  were  to  be  ornamented  with  large  white  buttons. 
Their  pantaloons  were  to  be  of  the  same  material  for  winter  wear  and 
of  white  duck  for  summer.  The  vests  were  to  be  of  white  cloth  all  the 
year.  Half  boots,  or  high  gaiters  were  to  be  their  foot  gear,  and 
round  black  hats,  ornamented  with  a  black  feather,  tipped  with  red 
were  required  for  head  covering.  Officers  of  the  First  Regiment  were 
to  wear  similar  clothing,  to  which  w^as  added  a  red  cape  for  the  coat, 
silver  straps  and  epaulettes  to  designate  their  rank,  and  a  cocked  hat 
with  a  white  plume.  The  coats  were  to  be  faced  with  buff.  Artillery- 
men were  to  have  coats  turned  up  with  red  and  a  red  cord  running 
down  the  leg  of  their  trousers,  and  red  plumes.  Riflemen  were, to 
have  green  uniforms  with  short  coats,  and  the  plumes  on  their  hats 
were  to  be  green.  Taken  altogether  the  uniforms  required  were  better 
adapted  for  the  clothing  of  a  royal  body  guard  than  for  the  dressing  of 
a  backwoods  militia  corps.  They  were  entirely  beyond  the  means  of 
the  men  who  were  ordered  to  purchase  them.     The  order  was  issued  in 



the  fall  of  1805,  and  the  men  were  directed  to  appear  on  duty  in  full 
uniform  after  June  1,  180G.  There  was  method  in  the  governor's  mad- 

Before  issuing  the  order  Governor  Hull  had  taken  the  precaution  to 
stock  his  store  with  cassimeres,  ducks,  hats,  plumes,  silver  braid,  but- 
tons and  epaulettes,  and  his  uniforms  were  planned  so  as  to  create  a 
sale  for  this  stock  and  give  him  a  big  profit.  The  officers,  puffed  up 
with  personal  vanity,  and  for  the  purpose  of  setting  an  example  to  their 
men,  procured  their  uniforms  in  spite  of  the  hardship  it  imposed  upon 
them,  but  the  privates  rebelled  and  said  they  would  not  be  forced  into 
patronage  of  the  governor's  store.  They  realized  that  they  were  but  a 
small  body  of  country  militia,  and  said  that  all  this  starch,  lace  and 
buckram  which  the  martinet  of  a  governor  sought  to  impose  upon  them 
was  ridiculous,  considering  their  scanty  means.  When  June  1  passed 
and  the  privates  still  remained  ununiformed,  their  colonels  sought  to 
enforce  the  order  by  placing  some  of  the  leaders  in  the  opposition  un- 
der arrest.  The  soldiers  cheerfully  submitted  and  the  officers  asked 
their  governor  for  advice.  Governor  Hull  told  them  to  be  patient  but 
firm,  and  the  men  would  comply  in  due  time.  Complaints  were  so 
emphatic  that  the  grand  jury  protested  against  the  enforcement  of  the 
order  and  the  soldiers  refused  to  appear  for  drill.  A  corporal's  guard 
had  to  be  sent  around  to  drag  them  to  duty,  and  some  of  them  were 
punished  with  lashes.  They  had  one  strong  sympathizer  in  Stanley 
Griswold,  secretary  of  the  territory,  and  Governor  Hull  ordered  his 
arrest  on  the  charge  of  counseling  the  militia  to  disobey.  He  was  tried 
before  Justices  James  May,  George  McDougall  and  Richard  Smythe. 
The  two  former  were  both  officers  of  the  militia  and  they  held  Griswold 
to  his  personal  recognizance  in  the  sum  of  $1,000,  while  Justice  Smythe 
dissented.  The  strained  relations  between  governor  and  militia  had 
dragged  along  for  two  years,  then  Griswold's  term  expired  April 
1,  1808,  and  he  left  the  town.  Reuben  Attwater,  who  had  an  extraor- 
dinary respect  for  the  governor,  was  appointed  to  succeed  him.  The 
time  was  fast  approaching  when  proficiency  in  arms  would  become  of 
more  importance  to  the  militia  than  their  appearance  on  dress  parade. 
The  Indians  were  menacing  Detroit  and  all  of  the  white  settlements  in 
Michigan,  and  British  outrages  on  land  and  sea  were  leading  the  Amer- 
icans on  to  a  declaration  of  war.  In  October,  1805,  the  militia  of  the 
River  Sinclair  (St.  Clair)  were  detached  from  the  First  Regiment  and 
formed  a  battalion   of   four  companies.     Captain   George  Cotterell  was 


made  lieutenant-colonel  and  Captain   Louis  Campeau,    major  of  this 

A  humorous  sketch  of  a  drill  of  a  company  of  Michigan  militia,  com- 
posed of  French  habitans,  appears  in  Mrs.  Hamlin's  "Legends  of  De- 
troit." The  commander,  Captain  Jean  Cecire,  who  was  very  conceited 
and  pretentious,  forms  his  company  in  line,  orders  his  sergeant  to  call 
the  roll,  with  the  following  results: 

Sergeant — "Attention,  Companie  Francais  Canadians!  Answer  your 
name  when  I  call  it,  if  you  please.  Tock,  Tock,  Livernois? "  No  ans- 
wer: at  last  a  voice  says :  "Not  here,  gone  catch  his  lambreuer  [fast 
pacer]  in  the  bush." 

Captain — "Sergeant,  put  peen  hole  in  dat  man.      Go  'head." 

Sergeant — "  Laurant  Bondy?" 

"  Here,   sah." 

"  Claude  Campau?" 

"Here,  monsieur. " 

"Antoine  Salliotte?"  Some  one  answers — "Little  baby  came  last 
night  at  his  house;  must  stay  at  home." 

Captain — "  Sergeant,  put  one  preek  on  dat  man's  name." 

Sergeant — "  L'Enfant  Riopelle?" 

"  Here,  sah." 

Sergeant — "  Piton  Laforest?" 

"  Here,  sah." 

vSergeant — "Simon  Meloche?" 

"Not  here,  gone  to  spear  muskrat  for  argent  blanc  [silver  money]." 

Captain — "Sergeant,  take'your  peen  and  scratch  dat  man." 

After  the  roll  was  called  and  the  absentees  pricked,  the  captain  pro- 
ceeded to  drill  his  company. 

Captain — "  March ee,  mes  camarades,  deux  par  deux  [two  and  two] 
like  oxen,  and  when  you  come  to  dat  stump,  stop. " 

They  all  made  for  the  place  and  got  there  in  a  heap,  looking,  with 
their  colored  dresses,  like  a  rainbow  on  a  spree.  Disgusted  at  their 
awkwardness  the  captain  gave  them  a  few  minutes'  relaxation.  Instead 
of  resting  "  au  militaire,"  they  rushed  off,  one  to  smoke  his  beloved 
pipe,  another  to  polish  his  carbine,  whilst  others  amused  themselves 
sitting  on  the  grass  telling  about  the  races.  The  captain  called  them 
to  try  again.     This  time  he  said : 

"  Marchee  as  far  as  dat  Soulier  de  boeuf  [old  shoe]  in  de  road,  den 
turn!  right,  gauche,  left  about!  Shoulder  mus-keete!  Avance  done 
back.      D'"f^el  feneesh !  " 


Governor  Hull  and  Judge  Woodward  did  not  scruple  to  usurp  all  the 
powers  of  the  people.  They  passed  an  act  in  1806,  which  annulled  the 
act  of  1802,  incorporating  Detroit  under  the  law  of  the  Northwest  Ter- 
ritory. They  gave  themselves  the  sole  authority  to  lay  out  streets, 
survey  lots  and  to  dispose  of  the  town  lands  by  sale.  This  made  them 
autocrats  of  the  town,  as  well  as  legislature  and  supreme  court  of  the 
Territory.  The  people  did  not  realize  the  full  purport  of  the  act  of  1806 
at  first.  Governor  Hull  appointed  Solomon  Sibley  mayor  of  the  town, 
and  Mr.  Sibley  called  a  mass  meeting  for  the  election  of  a  first  and 
second  council,  each  to  consist  of  three  members.  At  the  mass  meet- 
ing the  people  elected  Stanley  Griswold,  John  Harvey,  the  baker  who 
had  caused  the  fire  of  the  previous  year,  and  Peter  Desnoyers,  for  the 
first  council  or  town  senate;  and  Isaac  Jones,  John  Gentle  and  James 
Dodemead  as  the  second  council  or  co-ordinate  body.  The  city  gov- 
ernment being  entirely  under  the  control  of  the  governor  and  judges, 
proved  to  be  a  mere  farce,  and  Sibley  resigned.  Elijah  Brush  was 
then  appointed  mayor,  but  he  also  resigned  shortly  afterward. 

Judge  Woodward  began  laying  out  the  town  according  to  his  mag- 
nificent ideas,  as  if  another  Paris  was  to  spring  up  suddenly  in  the 
wilderness  of  Michigan.  Governor  Hull  built  a  pretentious  brick  res- 
idence, fifty  feet  square,  on  what  is  now  Jeflierson  avenue,  but  it  looked 
down  a  narrow  and  rather  unattractive  street.  Judge  Woodward  rem- 
edied this  effect  by  ordering  the  front  of  the  lots  vacated  and  the  houses 
moved  back,  to  widen  the  street.  One  street  he  closed  at  one  end, 
and  another  street,  upon  which  a  number  of  houses  faced,  he  cut  up 
into  lots,  leaving  the  unfortunate  householder  without  a  frontage  on 
any  thoroughfare.  Of  course  there  was  a  big  row  over  this  class  of 
proceedings,  but  when  the  two  councils  convened  and  held  a  noisy  in- 
dignation meeting,  they  found  that  they  were  powerless!  The  law 
framed  by  Woodv^^ard  and  Hull  had  been  issued  with  authority,  and  it 
gave  the  framers  supreme  power  over  the  people  of  Detroit.  If  the 
councils  passed  any  kind  of  an  ordinance  it  was  subject  to  the  approval 
of  the  mayor,  who  was  the  appointee  of  the  governor,  and  there  was 
no  way  of  passing  over  his  vote.  The  people  were  so  disgusted  with 
this  usurpation  of  their  rights,  and  the  knowledge  that  they  were 
powerless  to  remove  the  will  of  their  rulers,  that  they  refused  to  vote 
for  councilmen  after  the  first  election  in  1806. 

A  great  source  of  dissatisfaction  was  the  taking  of  the  commons  from 
the  people.      From  Cadillac's  time  it  had  alwa5^s   been   used  as  public 


property  and  a  pasture  ground.  But  the  governor  and  judges  saw  that 
in  the  plan  for  the  new  city  the  adjacent  land  was  indispensable  and 
that  the  commons  must  come  under  the  contemplated  improvement. 
The  same  indignation  was  exhibited  against  laying  out  the  ten-thou- 
sand acre  tract  on  both  sides  of  Woodward  avenue,  and  also  the  park 
lots  on  either  side  of  that  thoroughfare.  A  good  deal  of  this  opposition 
was  characterized  by  ignorance  and  prejudice,  but  in  all  matters  of  this 
kind,  whether  right  or  wrong,  the  royal  four  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  all 
remonstrances  and  worked  their  own  sweet  will  without  regard  to  pop- 
ular disfavor.  The  authority  of  the  governor  and  judges,  except  during 
the  war  of  1812,  was  absolute,  and  it  was  not  until  1815  that  a  measure 
of  local  government  was  adopted  under  the  governorship  of  Lewis  Cass. 


The  Bank  of  Detroit — A  Well-Planned  Swindle  which  Gave  the  Promoters  Riches 
and  the  People  of  Michigan  a  Bad  Reputation — A  Large  Amount  of  Worthless  Bills 
Circulated  but  Never  Redeemed— Early  Grand  Juries— 1806-1808. 

In  1806  much  of  the  fur  business  transacted  at  Detroit  was  carried 
on  by  Boston  capitalists,  and  the  scarcity  of  actual  money  and  the  en- 
tire absence  of  banking  facilities  at  the  Detroit  end  of  the  business, 
caused  no  end  of  inconvenience.  In  the  spring  of  1806  Russel  Sturges, 
a  wealthy  fur  dealer,  and  several  other  Boston  capitalists,  sent  a  petition 
to  Governor  Hull  asking  the  governor  and  judges  to  charter  a  bank, 
which  the  proponents  promised  the  capitalize  to  the  amount  of  $400,000. 
Without  waiting  for  a  charter  the  banking  firm  sent  on  Parker  and 
Broadstreet,  their  agents,  who  prepared  to  erect  a  bank  building. 
They  also  elected  officers  before  the  authority  was  granted.  The  char- 
ter was  issued  to  the  Bank  of  Detroit  in  September,  1808.  Judge 
Woodward  was  already  president  and  William  Flanagan,  of  Boston, 
cashier.  The  bank  building,  which  was  erected  that  fall  at  the  north- 
west corner  of  Jefferson  avenue  and  Randolph  street,  was  a  small 
structure  of  one  story,  but  was  strong  and  massive.  The  charter  lim- 
ited the  capital  of  the  bank  to  $1,000,000  and  its  term  was  to  be  101 
years.     This  was  most  liberal,  as  the  actual  investment  did  not  exceed 


$20,000.  Governor  Hull  was  authorized  to  subscribe  for  the  stock 
without  limitation,  and  took  ten  shares  in  the  name  of  the  Territory  of 
Michigan.  This  was  probably  for  the  purpose  of  impressing  upon  the 
minds  of  the  public  that  the  institution  had  the  backing  of  the  Terri- 
tory of  Michigan.  Shares  were  offered  at  $25  in  the  open  subscrip- 
tion, but  when  a  sufficient  quantity  had  been  subscribed  to  please  the 
promoters,  the  balance  of  10,000  shares  were  taken  privately  by  the 
Boston  parties  at  $2  a  share.  Leaving  Judge  Woodward  and  Cashier 
Flanagan  in  charge,  the  Boston  representatives,  Parker  and  Broad- 
street,  went  east,  carrying  with  them  Detroit  Bank  bills  to  the  amount 
of  $100,000  to  $150,000.  Congress  disapproved  of  the  act  of  the  Mich- 
igan governor  and  judges  in  granting  this  charter,  and  the  bank  was 
compelled  to  discontinue  business  next  year  for  lack  of  authority. 

In  reviewing  the  circumstances  connected  with  the  founding  of  this, 
the  first  monetary  institution  of  Detroit,  it  is  impossible  to  resist  the 
conclusion  that  both  President  Woodward  and  Governor  Hull  were  not 
men  of  integrity.  Both  were  active  promoters  of  the  fraudulent  con- 
cern. The  latter  confessed  in  an  official  letter  to  President  Madison, 
in  1807,  that  $80,000  to  $100,000  of  the  bank's  bills  were  sent  to  agents 
at  Boston.  There  they  went  into  circulation,  scattering  all  over  New 
England,  but  they  were  never  redeemed  at  Detroit  with  the  exception 
of  $500,  which  were  redeemed  under  threat  of  publicity.  Who  re- 
ceived the  value  of  these  bills?  Hull  and  Woodward  denied  receiving 
any  part  of  the  proceeds,  but  it  is  contrary  to  probability  that  they  told 
the  truth.  It  is  not  at  all  likely  that  a  private  bank  would  go  to  the 
expense  and  trouble  of  issuing  $100,000  worth  of  paper  currency,  the 
president  and  cashier  affixing  their  signatures  to  every  bill,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  sending  them  for  free  distribution  in  a  distant  mart  of  trade. 
When  Woodward  came  to  Detroit  he  was  a  poor  man,  and  although  he 
maintained  a  bachelor's  household  and  entertained  a  little,  his  small  sal- 
ary of  $1,200  per  annum  would  not  account  for  his  subsequent  wealth. 
He  certainly  acquired  money  while  in  Detroit  and  became  a  very  ex- 
tensive land  owner.  He  was  a  rich  man  when  he  left  the  city,  yet  he 
never  engaged  in  trade  nor  in  any  visible  business  save  the  purchase 
and  sale  of  land,  and  his  sales  did  not  aggregate  a  tithe  of  his  wealth. 
If  there  was  any  money  or  property  acquired  in  exchange  for  the  bills 
issued  by  the  Bank  of  Detroit,  which  is  the  most  probable  conclusion. 
Woodward  and  Hull  must  have  received  a  large  share  of  it.  In  1825 
Judge  Woodward,  after  he  had  resigned  his  position  as  judge,  or  rather, 


after  he  had  been  legislated  out  of  office,  and  just  before  he  left  for 
Washington  to  obtain  a  new  appointment  as  federal  judge  in  Florida, 
offered  all  his  property  in  Michigan  Territory  for  sale.  It  consisted  of 
220  feet  on  Jefferson  avenue,  with  a  storehouse  of  sixteen  rooms; 
about  750  acres,  comprising  the  site  of  Ypsilanti  and  its  mill  privilege ; 
320  acres  on  Woodward  avenue,  about  six  miles  north  of  Detroit,  on 
which  he  had  projected  a  village  to  be  called  Woodwardville ;  and 
eighteen  farms  of  fifty-three  and  a  third  acres  each,  adjacent  to  the 
out  lots  of  the  city  of  Detroit;  these  are  all  now  within  the  city  limits. 
For  this  property,  divided  and  valued  in  detail,  he  set  an  aggregate  price 
of  about  $100,000.  Of  course  they  were  purchased  for  a  much  smaller 
sum,  but  the  wonder  arises  how  he  could  have  paid  the  money  for  even 
$25,000  worth  of  land. 

The  conduct  of  the  governor  and  judges,  both  as  jurists  and  legislators, 
was  so  wanton  in  its  disregard  for  justice,  that  the  people  were  in  a  con- 
tinual state  of  exasperation.  In  some  cases  the  judges  seemed  inclined 
to  make  a  bid  for  popularity  in  their  decisions,  but  occasionally  over- 
shot the  mark  and  retraced  their  steps.  One  instance  occurred  in  1806, 
when  the  court  fined  some  of  the  officers  of  the  garrison  for  surrender- 
ing some  deserters  from  Fort  Maiden  to  British  officers.  It  appeared 
that  British  officers  at  Fort  Maiden  and  the  American  officers  at  De- 
troit, being  on  good  terms,  had  agreed  to  surrender  to  each  other  any 
deserter  who  might  come  in  their  lines.  A  British  soldier  deserted 
from  Fort  Maiden  and  came  to  Detroit.  Two  British  officers  followed, 
and  at  night  with  the  aid  of  three  American  officers,  arrested  the  de- 
serter, but  the  populace  learned  of  it  and  the  deserter  was  set  at  liberty. 
The  three  American  officers  were  tried  by  the  judges,  found  guilty  and 
fined,  and  also  sentenced  to  imprisonment.  This  was  punishment  with 
a  vengeance,  and  the  inhabitants  .were  shocked  and  indignant  at  the 
severity  of  the  sentences.  But  in  a  day  or  two,  when  the  judges  real- 
ized the  popular  feeling,  the  fines  were  reduced  to  a  few  cents  in  each 
case  and  the  imprisonments  canceled. 

In  1800  a  code  of  laws  was  prepared  by  the  two  judges.  It  was  known 
as  the  Woodward  code,  and  subsequently  proved  to  be  a  very  faulty 
compilation.  The  territory  was  divided  into  three  districts,  the  Erie, 
the  Huron  and  the  Mackinaw,  and  courts  were  provided  for  each,  at 
which  one  of  the  supreme  justices  was  to  sit. .  The  court  had  exclusive 
jurisdiction  in  criminal  cases  and  also  in  civil  cases  involving  more  than 
$20.      Minor  cases  were  tried  by  justices  of  the  peace.      Records  of  the 


old  court  proceedings  show  that  they  were  often  irregular  and  that  the 
laws  were  ludicrously  crude.  Although  the  inhabitants  were  dissatis- 
fied with  the  rule  of  governor  and  judges,  it  is  not  probable  that  they 
would  have  preferred  the  old  way,  by  which  the  military  commandant 
was  the  sole  arbiter  of  justice  in  the  colony.  Nevertheless  they  found 
abundant  cause  for  grumbling  in  the  new  order  of  things,  and  their 
complaints  were  vented  as  effectively  as  possible  by  the  action  of  grand 
juries.  The  address  of  the  grand  jury  to  the  judges  in  1807  criticised 
the  manner  in  which  the  public  moneys  were  expended  and  asked  that 
a  list  be  made  of  citizens  in  all  parts  of  the  Territory  who  were  eligible  to 
be  drawn  for  jury  duty. 

James  Witherell,  who  succeeded  Frederick  Bates,  took  his  seat  with 
Governer  Hull  and  his  fellow  judges,  Woodward  and  Grifiin,  on  April 
3,  1808.  He  was  born  in  Mansfield,  Mass.,  on  June  16,  1759,  was  a 
Revolutionary  soldier  at  seventeen,  and  was  present  at  the  battles  of 
White  Plains,  Long  Island,  Stillwater,  Bemis  Heights,  Monmouth  and 
at  the  surrender  of  Burgoyne.  He  was  also  with  Washington  at  Valley 
Forge,  and  saw  the  execution  of  Major  Andre  at  Tappan.  When  the 
war  was  over  he  went  to  Connecticut,  where  he  studied  medicine  and 
became  a  physician.  In  Rutland  county  he  was  elected  chief  justice 
of  the  County  Court  and  was  congressman  in  1807.  While  a  member 
of  the  House  Jefferson  appointed  him  to  be  one  of  the  judges  in  Michi- 
gan Territory.  When  he  came  to  Detroit  he  was  forty-nine  years  of 
age  and  was  about  six  feet  in  height,  with  a  stalwart,  upright  frame, 
blue  eyes,  brown  hair,  ruddy  complexion,  large  nose  and  resolute 
mouth.  He  was  a  public  spirited  citizen,  an  honest  man  and  good 
jurist,  with  a  firm,  decided  mind.  He  was  not  a  profound  lawyer,  but 
he  had  clear  common  sense  and  an  inflexible  will.  On  the  bench  he 
nearly  always  opposed  Woodward  in  his  vagaries  and  perversity  of  law 
and  justice.  In  the  records  of  the  Territorial  Legislature  and  Land 
Board  from  1807  to  1815,  in  which  latter  year  Cass  became  governor, 
the  vote  was  nearly  always  Witherell  and  Hull  against  Woodward  and 
Griffin.  But  Witherell  was  a  stronger  man  than  Hull,  and  it  was  gen- 
erally his  purposes,  rather  than  those  of  the  governor,  which  were  the 
rule  of  action.  Upon  the  bench  Witherell  was  in  the  minority,  for 
Woodward  and  Griffin  always  voted  together,  but  his  stern  outspoken 
protest:  "  I  do  not  see  the  force  of  that  decision;  there  appears  to  be 
no  sense  in  it,"  was  frequently  heard  on  the  bench.  When  Hull  sur- 
rendered Detroit  he  broke  his  sword,  and  refused  to  surrender  his  corps, 


and  they  went  to  their  homes.  He  was  sent  with  his  son  and  son-in- 
law  to  Kingston,  Upper  Canada,  where  they  were  paroled.  He  went 
back  to  Vermont  but  returned  when  the  British  surrendered  Detroit  in 
1813.  Resuming  the  duties  of  his  office,  he  served  as  judge  until  1828, 
when  he  resigned  and  was  appointed  secretary  of  the  Territory,  and 
after  acted  as  governor  during  Cass's  frequent  absences.  He  died  at 
his  home  on  the  site  of  the  present  Detroit  opera  house,  on  January 
!),  1838,  aged  seventy-nine  years.  He  was  the  maternal  grandfather  of 
ex-Senator  Thomas  W.  Palmer. 

The  United  States  grand  jury  presentment  in  1809,  of  which  George 
Hoffman  was  foreman,  was  thoroughly  characteristic  of  jurors'  action 
at  that  period.  Hoffman  was  a  prominent  citizen;  was  first  register 
of  the  United  States  Land  Office  in  1804-05,  and  postmaster  in  180G. 
In  this  presentment  Governor  Hull  was  indicted  for  an  alleged  abuse  of 
executive  clemency  in  the  case  of  John  Whipple.  The  latter  was  a 
former  captain  in  the  United  States  army  and  was  a  friend  of  Hull, 
who  had  appointed  him  Indian  interpreter.  Whipple  had  been  inter- 
ested in  a  case  in  the  Supreme  Court  which  was  decided  contrary  to  his 
interests,  and  he  took  the  first  opportunity  to  charge  Judge  Woodward 
with  favoritism  and  denounced  him  to  his  face  as  a  d — d  rascal.  Whipple 
was  arrested,  and  at  first  Woodward  proposed  to  try  him  before  himself 
and  the  other  supreme  judges,  but  was  persuaded  to  have  two  justices 
of  the  peace,  one  of  whom  was  Robert  Abbott,  to  sit  with  him  on  the 
case.  Whipple  was  tried,  convicted  and  fined  ;|50  Governor  Hull 
promptly  remitted  the  fine.  The  relations  of  the  governor  and  Wood- 
ward had  been  strained  for  some  time,  but  this  almost  severed  them  in 
a  personal  sense.  Everybody,  including  the  grand  jurors,  believed 
that  the  fine  was  remitted  by  the  governor  for  the  purpose  of  spiting 
the  judge,  and  their  indignation  at  the  latter  was  expressed  in  the 
presentment  as  follows: 

"  History,  the  record  of  facts,  shows  that  under  every  form  of  gov- 
ernment, man,  when  invested  with  authority,  from  the  weakness  and 
imbecility  of  his  nature,  has  a  strong  propensity  to  assume  powers  with 
which  he  is  not  legally  clothed.  Fully  persuaded  of  this  truth  from 
reflection  and  observation,  we,  the  grand  jury  for  the  body  of  the  Terri- 
tory of  Michigan,  after  having  heard  witnesses  and  a  free  and  dispas- 
sionate discussion  and  consideration  of  their  testimony,  on  our  oath 
present,  that  William  Hull,  governor  of  this  territory,  did  on  the  27th 
day  of  February,  1809,  illegally   and   without  any  color  of  authority, 



sign  an  instrument  in  writing  as  said  governor  of  the  Territory, 
remitting  the  fine  of  $50  imposed  on  Whipple  by  the  Supreme  Court, 
.  .  .  and  we  the  said  grand  jurors  have  a  confident  hope  that  the 
Supreme  Court  will  carry  into  effect  their  own  judgment." 

It  was  at  this  period,  and  probably  the  result  of  the  quarrels  between 
the  governor  and  the  judges,  that  the  first  attempt  was  made  to  obtain 
for  Michigan  the  second  form  of  government,  wherein  the  legislative 
department  was  severed  from  the  judiciary  and  became  elective. 

In  1809  the  first  printing  press  was  brought  to  the  Territory,  as  will 
be  detailed  hereafter,  and  almost  the  first  use  to  which  it  was  devoted 
was  printing  the  proceedings  of  the  grand  jury  in  their  presentment  of 
Governor  Hull  in  remitting  Whipple's  fine.  This  presentment  is  dated 
September  26,  1809.  A  meeting  of  citizens  was  at  once  called  to  con- 
sider the  matter  of  a  change  in  the  form  of  government,  and,  after 
forming  themselves  into  a  permanent  organization,  they  appointed  a 
committee,  consisting  of  Augustus  B.  Woodward,  George  Hoffman, 
James  Henry,  Solomon  Sibley  and  James  May,  to  inquire  into  the  dif- 
ferent forms  of  territorial  government  of  the  United  States,  and  then 
adjourned  till  the  16tli  of  October  to  meet  at  the  house  of  Richard 
Smythe.  At  this  adjourned  meeting  Augustus  B.  Woodward  presided 
and  George  Hoffman  acted  as  secretary.  The  proceedings  were  printed 
in  French  and  English  and  posted  up  in  conspicuous  places  in  the  vil- 
lage, and  copies  were  sent  to  the  more  prominent  citizens  in  other 
settlements  of  the  Territory.  The  resolutions  adopted  took  the  follow- 
ing form : 

"  That  it  is  expedient  to  alter  the  present  form  of  government  of  this  Territory, 
and  to  adopt  a  form  of  government  by  which  two  bodies,  elected  annually  by  the 
people,  should  make  the  laws,  instead  of  the  executive  and  the  three  judicial  magis- 
trates, appointed  by  the  general  government,  adoptittg  them ;  the  first  to  consist  of 
five  representatives,  and  the  second  of  three  councilors,  the  executive  to  have  a 
qualified  veto,  under  such  modifications  as  Congress  in  their  wisdom  may  think 
proper  to  provide. 

"  That  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  be  respectfully  solicited  to  appropriate 
the  sum  of  six  hundred  dollars  annually  towards  defraying  the  expenses  of  the  ter- 
ritorial legislature,  constituted  on  the  foregoing  principles. 

"  That  it  is  expedient  that  the  people  of  this  Territory  should  be  represented  in 
the  Congress  of  the  United  States  by  a  delegate  to  be  elected  by  the  people." 

These  resolutions,  which  were  submitted  to  Congress,  anticipated  by 
some  years  the  actual  change  of  government  that  the  citizens  then  de- 
sired, for  the  first  delegate  was  sent  to  Congress  in  1819,  and  the  first 
elective  legislative  body  was  chosen  in  1824. 


The  meetings  that  had  been  called,  and  the  discussions  that  had  at- 
tended them,  had  partly  persuaded  the  people  that  the  laws  which  had 
been  adopted,  conformable  to  the  ordinance  of  1787,  were  illegal  and 
not  properly  applicable  to  our  Territory.  It  was  partly  for  the  purpose 
of  remedying  this  evil  that  the  change  in  government  was  sought  to  be 
obtained.  Governor  Hull  was  so  greatly  excited  by  the  popular  clamor 
that,  three  days  later  (October  19,  1809),  he  issued  a  proclamation, 
under  the  territorial  seal,  calling  upon  all  good  citizens  to  enforce  the 
laws  as  they  found  them,  and  advising  them  that  Congress  alone  had 
the  power  to  declare  them  null  and  void. 

Peter  B.  Porter  presented  the  petition  of  the  citizens  in  Congress  on 
the  21st  day  of  February,  1810.  More  important  matters  occupied  the 
attention  of  Congress  at  this  time,  for  it  was  then  discussing  the  ques- 
tions that  resulted  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  in  the  excitement  the  Mich- 
igan petition  was  lost  sight  of,  and  nothing  further  was  done  in  the 
direction  of  self-government  for  the  Territory  until  long  after  the  war 
was  closed. 

The  grand  jurors  of  those  days,  like  death,  loved  a  shining  mark, 
and  like  the  Irishman  at  Donnybrook  fair,  hit  any  head  that  showed 
itself.  After  upholding  the  judiciary  against  the  executive,  the  same 
grand  jury  turned  around  and  denounced  the  same  man  in  their  legis- 
lative capacity.  The  legislature,  namely,  the  governor  and  judges,  had 
passed  an  act  laying  out  and  opening  a  road  from  the  foot  of  the  rapids 
of  the  Miami  River  to  Detroit,  and  in  the  early  part  of  1809  had  passed 
an  appropriation  act  which  provided  for  the  payment  of  James  With- 
erell,  one  of  the  judges,  William  McD.  Scott  and  John  Whipple,  as 
commissioners,  for  seventeen  days'  service  at  |4  per  day.  for  exploring 
and  surveying  the  road.  For  this  Judge  Witherell  was  censured  by  the 
jury  "  for  conduct  unbecoming  the  character  of  a  faithful  and  impartial 
judge,  for  introducing  and  voting  in  a  legislative  assembly  for  the 
above  appropriation,  especially  when  he  knew  the  expense  was  to  be 
defrayed  by  the  proceeds  of  a  lottery  authorized  by  the  terms  of  the 

The  four  rulers  were  again  presented  in  1810  for  alleged  illegal  and 
arbitrary  actions,  the  foreman,  George  McDougall,  voicing  their  senti- 
ments in  the  following  prelude:  "It  is  peculiarly  painful  and  unpleas- 
ant to  be  under  the  necessity  of  presenting  any  of  the  members  of  the 
local  government,  especially  those  who  are  placed  in  the  highest  seats 
of  justice."     George  McDougall  was  a  lawyer,  a  bon  vivant,  and  a  very 


irascible  man.  He  was  born  in  Detroit  under  British  rule,  and  was  the 
son  of  Colonel  George  McDougall,  who  was  the  first  owner  of  Belle 
Isle.  Young  George  was  sheriff  of  the  county  in  1800,  chief  justice  of 
the  Territorial  District  Court  in  1807,  and  probate  judge  in  1809-18. 
In  the  war  of  1812  he  was  adjutant-general  of  the  Territory,  and  was  a 
brave  and  active  soldier.  He  became  poor  in  old  age,  was  a  lighthouse 
keeper  at  Fort  Gratiot  and  died  in  St.  Clair  about  1840,  in  extreme 
poverty.  The  proceedings  of  the  grand  jury  of  1811  were  the  most 
unique  and  interesting  of  any  in  the  annals  of  that  body.  First  came 
the  address  of  Judge  Woodward,  in  which  he  made  some  general 
observations  on  the  important  duties  before  them,  and  eulogized  the 
"  sacred  principles  of  liberty  and  the  absolute  sovereignty  of  law  in  the 
preservation  of  order."  His  concluding  remarks  were  as  follows: 
"  Permit  me,  gentlemen,  before  closing  my  remarks,  to  be  the  medium 
of  acquainting  you  that  the  governor  and  judges  of  this  Territory  have 
imanimously  recommended  to  all  public  officers  to  be  clothed  in  Amer- 
ican manufactures  when  engaged  in  the  exercise  of  their  official  func- 
tions, after  the  4th  day  of  July,  1813.  In  obedience  to,  or  rather  in 
anticipation  of,  their  recommendation,  I  have  the  honor  to  appear  now 
before  you  clothed  completely  in  the  manufacture  of  our  countr}^ 
trusting  that  even  an  humble  example  may  not  be  without  some  weight 
or  utility.  Perhaps  among  the  many  splendid  plans  which  intelligent 
and  patriotic  characters  may  have  contemplated  for  the  encouragement 
of  domestic  manufacture,  none  may  prove  more  efficacious  than  the 
simple  rule  of  every  citizen  in  his  own  person,  restricting  his  consump- 
tion to  them." 

After  alluding  in  a  hopeful  vein  to  the  proposed  system  of  canals 
projected  in  New  York,  he  closed  by  making  the  following  prophecy, 
already  abundantly  realized : 

"  The  face  of  this  fine  region  of  our  continent  will  soon  be  fairly  ex- 
panded by  the  rays  of  American  enterprise,  and  the  day  is  not  distant 
when  we  shall  behold  the  energy  of  its  operation.  Perhaps  our  own 
era  may  witness  the  extension  of  our  settlements  to  the  Pacific,  and 
the  standard  of  our  republic  reflected  from  the  shores  of  another  ocean." 

If  Woodward  supposed  that  he  would  gain  ground  with  the  jurors 
by  disquisitions  on  the  encouragement  of  home  industry,  or  by  proph- 
ecies of  material  progress,  he  was  woefully  mistaken.  The  present- 
ment made  a  few  days  later  was  a  scorcher,  and  showed  that  the  jurors 
were  thoroughly  independent  men,  and  no  respecters  of  persons.      It 


started  off  by  denouncing  the  authorities,  the  governor  and  judges,  for 
their  delay  in  building  a  jail,  and  called  attention  to  the  act  of  Con- 
gress directing  its  erection  and  providing  for  its  cost  by  the  sale  of  ten 
thousand  acres  of  land.  Another  count  was  a  virtual  indictment  of 
Judge  Woodward.  It  recited  that  he  had  refused  to  sit  on  the  trial  of 
a  person  accused  of  the  murder  of  an  Indian,  under  the  plea  that  he 
was  not  possessed  of  a  freehold  estate  of  500  acres,  as  required  by  the 
territorial  ordinance,  and  that  he  had  previously  sat  on  the  trial  of  an 
Indian  for  a  similar  offense.  The  jury  characterized  this  inconsistent 
action  as  "either  an  unwarrantable  assumption  of  power,  or  an  egre- 
gious dereliction  of  duty."  Another  count  hauled  him  over  the  coals 
for  having  Whitmore  Knaggs — scout,  interpreter  and  spy,  under  Gen- 
erals St.  Clair  and  Wayne,  and  Indian  interpreter  imder  Hull — arrest- 
ed and  brought  before  him  on  a  charge  of  assault  and  battery  on 
himself,  when  there  were  two  other  judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  who 
might  have  been  called  to  try  the  case ;  also  that  he  had  called  up  the 
case  in  court  without  giving  notice  to  Knaggs,  and  adjudged  that  he 
should  give  $1, 500  bonds  to  keep  the  peace.  For  these  and  other  reasons 
the  jury  conceived  that  the  conduct  of  Judge  Woodward  was  "  unprec- 
edented, unwarrantable,  arbitrary  and  tyrannical,  and  tending  to  pros- 
trate the  sacred  barriers  which  the  wisdom  of  our  laws  have  erected 
against  encroachment  on  the  liberties  of  the  citizen."  Copies  of  the 
presentment  were  ordered  sent  to  Judge  Woodward  and  the  other 
Supreme  Court  judges,  the  president  of  the  United  States,  president  of 
the  Senate  and  speaker  of  the  House  of  Representatives. 

Judge  Woodward's  reply  to  this  attack  was  respectful  and  quite  in- 
genious. He  commenced  by  stating  that  "the  laws  of  a  free  country, 
gentlemen,  touch  the  motives  of  mankind  with  a  gentle  hand,  and 
cautious  ought  those  to  be  to  whom  it  is  entrusted,  that  neither  public 
passions  or  private  malignity  interpose  or  influence."  He  admitted 
that  the  statement  of  his  action  in  the  case  of  Whitmore  Knaggs,  an 
appointee  of  the  governor,  was  correct,  and  added  with  sarcasm,  that 
in  a  previous  case,  "  where  another  of  the  particular  friends  of  the 
governor  [meaning  John  Whipple]  made  an  assault  on  one  of  the 
judges  [himself]  for  matters  connected  with  his  public  functions,  an 
adjudication  of  the  Supreme  Court  was  rendered  [he  might  have  added 
that  the  dictum  of  the  court  was  negatived  by  the  governor's  action, 
but  every  juror  knew  what  he  meant]."  In  that  case  the  court  enter- 
tained a  full  conviction  that  it  had  the  power,  and  that  it  was  his  duty 


to  himself  to  institute  proceedings  against  the  offender.  A  judge,  he 
argued,  is  a  conservator  of  the  public  peace,  and  is  always  in  the  ex- 
ecution of  his  office,  and  the  law  arms  him  with  power  for  the  pro- 
tection of  others  and  also  himself.  Even  words  of  threatening  and 
abuse  toward  him  in  relation  to  his  public  duties  are  regarded  in  a 
similar  light.  He  contended  that  the  subsequent  proceedings  were 
public,  but  that  the  parties  did  not  wish  to  be  present,  and  it  was  not 
deemed  proper  to  coerce  them.  "An  act  of  benevolence,"  he  added, 
"  is  not  to  be  converted  into  an  act  of  oppression." 

The  judge  concluded  by  saying  that  he  would  transmit  the  present- 
ment with  other  documents  to  the  speaker  of  the  House  of  Represent- 
atives, "  but  it  would  not  be  considered  respectful  or  proper  to  trouble 
the  other  public  functionaries  with  the  subject."  The  names  of  the 
jurors  who  returned  the  above  presentment  were  James  Henry,  fore- 
man, George  Cottava,  James  Connor,  George  McDougall,  J.  Farwell, 
Jacob  Visger,  John  Anderson,  J.  B.  Beaugrand,  David  Beard,  T.  East- 
man, Henry  Berthelet,  Chabert  de  Joncaire,  John  Dodemead,  Samuel 
T,  Dyson,  M.  Leinger  and  Josiah  Brady. 


Tecumseh  and  the  Prophet  Plan  to  Drive  the  Americans  out  of  the  West — They 
Rouse  the  Indians  to  HostiUty,  Intending  to  Unite  with  the  British— General  Har- 
rison Defeats  Them  at  the  Battle  of  Tippecanoe,  November  7,  1811. 

When  Hull  was  made  governor  of  the  Territory  he  was  also  made  In- 
dian agent,  an  office  which  was  then  connected  with  that  of  the  execu- 
tive. The  last  named  office  was  very  important,  as  there  were  then 
only  4,860  white  persons  in  the  Territory,  of  whom  about  four-fifths 
were  French,  and  the  remainder  Americans,  with  a  few  British.  The 
Indian  settlements  comprised  those  of  the  Potawatomies,  Miamis, 
Wyandottes,  Chippewas,  Winnebagoes,  Ottawas  and  others.  These 
were  the  tribes  which  afterward  united  with  Tecumseh  and  the 
Prophet,  and  were  allies  of  England  against  the  United  States  in 
the  war  of  1812,  as  they  had  formerly  been  united  under  Pontiac 
against  the  English  as  allies  of  France.  The  Indians  felt  that  the 
people  of  the  United  States  were  their  natural  enemies,  because  they 


were  perpetually  being  encroached  upon  by  them.  In  1806,  in  an 
official  communication  to  Secretary  of  War  Dearborn,  Hull  stated  that 
his  main  objects  were  to  extinguish  gradually  the  Indian  title,  and  to 
instruct  the  red  men  in  agriculture  and  the  mechanic  arts. 

In  1806  the  Indians  became  restless  under  the  teachings  of  Tecum- 
seh,  chief  of  the  Shawnees,  and  his  brother,  the  Prophet.  The  tide  of 
American  immigration  was  beginning  to  flow  westward,  and  the  In- 
dians resented  the  settling  of  the  white  men  on  what  they  considered 
their  hunting  grounds.  The  Americans  were  farmers  and  proposed  to 
permanently  occupy  the  land,  but  the  British  who  came  west  were 
either  traders  or  hunters  like  themselves.  These  causes  had  already 
begun  to  produce  the  Indian  confederation  of  which  Tecumseh  and  his 
brother  were  the  principal  heads.  The  two  went  everywhere  and  held 
innumerable  councils,  and  belts  of  wampum  rapidly  circulated  between 
all  the  tribes.  In  this  movement  the  hand  of  Great  Britain  was  some- 
times discernible.  At  this  time  the  Indian  title  had  only  been  extin- 
guished in  Michigan  at  the  post  of  Detroit  and  the  district  adjacent, 
bounded  north  by  Lake  St.  Clair  and  south  by  the  River  Raisin;  also 
at  Mackinac  Island,  at  the  adjacent  island  of  Bois  Blanc  and  six  miles 
of  the  adjacent  mainland.  Except  these  small  strips  of  land,  all  of 
Michigan  was,  legally,  still  in  the  possession  of  the  Indians.  In  pur- 
suance with  this  plan,  Hull  executed  treaties  at  Detroit  in  1807  with 
the  Ottawa,  Potawatomie  and  Wyandotte  tribes,  by  which  they  ceded 
to  the  United  States  the  territory  in  southeast  Michigan  bounded  south 
by  the  river  and  bay  of  Miami;  west  by  a  line  running  north  and  south 
through  the  middle  of  the  territory  as  far  north  as  Saginaw  Bay,  and 
north  by  a  line  running  from  this  point  to  White  Rock  on  Lake  Huron. 
In  recompense  for  this  land  annuities  were  paid.  Much  confusion 
arose  in  regard  to  land  titles,  owing  to  the  numerous  grants  made  by 
the  Indians  during  the  French  and  English  regimes,  and  to  the  con- 
flicting terms  of  the  treaties  of  Fort  Mcintosh,  Fort  Harmar  and 
Greenville.  The  Indians  were  cajoled  by  the  British  officials  and 
Indian  agents  at  Maiden  (Amherstburg)  into  the  belief  that  they  had 
been  frightened